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Officer attends Lackawaxen meeting

By Vera Frendak
August 6, 2014

LACKAWAXEN, PA — Lieutenant Chris Paris made a courtesy visit to the July 21 Lackawaxen municipal meeting in order to introduce himself to the area and to answer the general public’s questions. He has been at his post as leader of the Blooming Grove State Troopers’ barracks now for 14 months. He made it clear that his role, as law enforcer, is to enforce the laws as they stand; he has no role in their development, and citizens are encouraged to contact their local representatives if they have questions regarding changing any laws.

Paris reviewed a few statistics since his placement as lieutenant. DUI arrests have doubled within the past six months. This has not been due to added personnel but to added effort on the part of his officers. Also, six newly graduated officers have been added to the force and are undergoing more training on site.

Most public comment concerned the ownership of firearms in the county. Paris clarified that one can obtain the right to carry and conceal a loaded weapon on one’s person with a permit granted from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office. One citizen questioned how his wife was issued a permit with absolutely no proof of firearms training or required training prior to being issued such permit. Paris referred him to the sheriff’s office, as this is one of those issues that he has no jurisdiction over. However, if a citizen carrying a legal, concealed weapon is pulled over by an officer for any reason, he is obligated to immediately inform the officer that there is a legal, loaded weapon in the car. The same rules apply to an officer entering a private home.

A hot topic was that of the rights of the resident should an intruder break in and enter a private citizen’s home. Paris clarified that there is no clear answer to such a situation. He referred those with specific issues to check Title XVIII 505 of the legal statutes for further clarification as to when and what degree of force (such as the use of firearms) can be used and under what conditions.

A Shohola resident questioned the issue of state police response time to calls made from more remote areas of Pike County. She stated that the general consensus among local residents is that response time is unreasonably long. She said a break-in several years ago resulted in the burglar being handcuffed by the citizen for several hours with the restrained intruder shouting and yelling. She said this is not atypical for the area. Shohola does have the luxury of a full-time police force for 40 hours a week, but is dependent on the state police at other times.