HARRISBURG – The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee will hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 15 at 10:30 a.m. at the Pike County Training Center, 135 Pike County Boulevard, Lords Valley. The topic of the hearing will be an After Action Assessment of the largest pursuit in state history following a deadly sniper attack at the State Police Barracks at Blooming Grove on Sept. 12, 2014, that left one trooper dead and a second critically injured.
Sen. Randy Vulakovich, R-38th District, chairs the committee and said the hearing will focus on improvements to state and local emergency response based on what was experienced during this massive pursuit, and whether there are additional issues that need to be addressed to help in future situations.
“The intense manhunt for Eric Frein garnered national attention. This unprecedented event mobilized law enforcement officials from a number of agencies and jurisdictions, who together tracked down and apprehended this dangerous fugitive,” said Vulakovich. “Now that we have had time for these agencies to review their individual efforts and the criminal trial has been resolved, it is appropriate that we look back to determine what went right and to identify areas that need improvement. This is an ideal opportunity to help game plan for the next time something like this occurs.”
Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20th District, requested the hearing to review matters such as officer safety needs and barracks assessments; incident response; effectiveness of deployed technology including the statewide radio network; costs to state and local governments; communication policies such as reverse 911 and shelter-in-place directives; and the experiences of citizens and businesses.
Among those offering testimony are members of the state police, local emergency response personnel, elected officials, the business community, and area school districts.
“The intensive manhunt demonstrated the patience and skill of the Pennsylvania State Police, our other first responders, municipal and county governments, and so many other individuals and groups that participated in the search,” Senator Baker added. “The many innocent residents and businesses affected also displayed resilience and fortitude.”
She noted that public comment will be included as part of the review and encouraged those impacted by the intensive manhunt to share their stories. “The periodic lockdowns of roads, schools, activities and travel had an impact,” she said. “If people have observations or recommendations we want to hear them.”
Comments can be submitted by going to www.senatorbaker.com and clicking the Manhunt Hearing Public Comment box.
Andrew M. Seder
District Communications/Constituent Services for Pike and Wayne Counties
Office of Senator Lisa Baker
2512 Route 6
Hawley, PA 18428