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    Fatal shooting rampage at rural Pa. township meeting may prompt greater security

     A northeastern Pennsylvania man has been arraigned on homicide charges and other counts after police say he fatally shot three people during a municipal meeting in the Poconos amid a dispute with the township. The gunman, identified as 59-year-old Rockne Newell, indiscriminately fired shots Monday night as he barged into the meeting, authorities said. He left long enough to get another weapon from his car and continued firing upon returning until he was tackled by at least one person and was shot with his own gun, police and witnesses said. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

    A northeastern Pennsylvania man has been arraigned on homicide charges and other counts after police say he fatally shot three people during a municipal meeting in the Poconos amid a dispute with the township. The gunman, identified as 59-year-old Rockne Newell, indiscriminately fired shots Monday night as he barged into the meeting, authorities said. He left long enough to get another weapon from his car and continued firing upon returning until he was tackled by at least one person and was shot with his own gun, police and witnesses said. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

    Municipal officials are likely to focus more on safety and security measures in the wake of a shooting at a township building in Pennsylvania’s Monroe County last week.

    The head of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors said the Monday night shooting at a Ross Township public meeting will have a lasting impact on local government officials.

    The incident, like other tragedies before it, will refocus municipal officials on safety measures they might have considered frivolous before, Dave Sanko predicted.

    “I saw discussions yesterday with some of our townships. They were having a discussion about upgrading their township building a couple weeks ago,” he said. “The architect had recommended bullet-proof glass. And, you know, the citizens of the community at the public meeting said, ‘We’re not paying for bullet-proof glass, nothing ever happens here, that’s a cost we don’t need.’

    “Probably a different answer than you would get today,” Sanko said.

    The alleged shooter was reportedly in a dispute with township officials over his property.

    The gunfire left three people dead, and the suspect has been arraigned on homicide charges.

    Sanko said he doesn’t expect the incident to prompt additional funding from the state for local government security measures, though he didn’t rule out federal funding.

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