Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County - The Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department's future is uncertain. The department serves the Northwestern corner of Monroe County. Tunkhannock Township and Tobyhanna Township have no plans to leave the force. But Coolbaugh Township and Mount Pocono Borough may leave next year.
Coolbaugh Township recently sent the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Commission a letter saying it intends to leave the regional force next January.
Township leaders emphasized that the letter of intent is a legal formality. It doesn't necessarily mean they will leave the force. The township is legally required to give one year notice if it wants to pull out of the department. So supervisors sent the notice and will explore their options. If nothing works out, they can legally leave the force.
Coolbaugh Township supervisors say right now the department is just too expensive. Coolbaugh Township pays the biggest part of the department's budget, more than forty percent. But Coolbaugh Township resident Simone Millings complained, "I don't think for anyone's life to be protected should be too expensive."
Many residents are unhappy with the proposal. Richie Orlowski lives in Coolbaugh Township's A Pocono Country Place. He said, "It's very bad. It's crime, it's drugs, it's everything." He added, "You want to beat the crime, you have to spend money. Nobody works for free."
Coolbaugh Township's letter prompted Mount Pocono Borough leaders to send a similar letter to the Police Commission. Mount Pocono Mayor Rich Dorkoski said it is just a precaution in case Coolbaugh Township leaves. He said, "Our fear was what would happen to that void? How would the other three municipalities end up paying for it?"
If the regional department disbands, municipalities can start their own department or rely on State Police out of the Swiftwater Barracks. Millings complained, "That's like a good half an hour drive for those guys to get up here to defend us. That's ridiculous."
The Pocono Mountain Regional Police Commission says it will have many talks with everyone involved and will do its best to keep the department together.