An office building in Stroudsburg is officially becoming an extension of the Monroe County Courthouse. That means you will no longer be able to carry a weapon inside 701 Main Street.
You can currently walk into 701 Main Street, no questions asked. But that is about to change. The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office are moving in.
Monroe County Commissioner John Christy says, "Under offices of the court, they come under the rulings of the President Judge and the rules that were put down by the state of Pennsylvania. Therefore, those offices have to have security."
Court bailiffs will soon greet you like they do at the Monroe County Courthouse. Your bag will be searched and you will be wanded for weapons. We’re told it’ll be up to the Monroe County Sheriff whether or not a metal detector will also be used.
Christy says, "Guns that are brought into any courthouse have to be checked and a receipt given for that. So they get placed in a locker and the locker is then locked."
The county purchased the building in 20-14 to help with overcrowding issues and save money with the courthouse expansion project. 701 is currently occupied by both paying tenants and county offices. Some are looking forward to the security change.
Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Chuck Leonard says, "It does give a level of comfort to some of our employees. It’s been mentioned that you know that’s kind of a good thing that you have someone down there checking people as they come in to make certain that nobody gets in here with a firearm. It’s kind of a sign of the times that we’re all a little paranoid."
The DA’s Office and the Public Defenders Office are still under construction but the Monroe County Commissioners tell us the bailiff’s need to be in place before they move in.
Christy says, "What has to happen is the bailiffs have to come up to speed so that they can provide that security. They have additional training that they will be going through shortly. We’ll probably be hiring another bailiff or two."
The Commissioners tell us the new security will be in place some time in February.