Centre County police made security plans for Sandusky hearing
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Centre County Sheriff Denny Nau thought that Tuesday's events went exactly as planned.
"It was really quite a long process," he said about six hours after Courtroom No. 1 emptied out. "It went off quite well -- without a glitch."
Working with local law enforcement and Centre County emergency management officials, the sheriff developed a big action plan to account for every possible contingency for Jerry Sandusky's preliminary hearing.
A state police helicopter was dispatched in the event an evacuation was necessary or for traffic control or if there was a need to follow someone, the sheriff said.
Snipers were placed strategically on rooftops in downtown Bellefonte.
"It was a better vantage point to see what was going on in the crowd -- as a precautionary measure," Sheriff Nau said.
In addition, emergency medical units were on standby and local schools were made aware of the various contingencies. Officers were brought in from State College, neighboring townships, as well as the state police.
"It was pretty much a county-wide effort," he said.
Had Mr. Sandusky gone ahead with the hearing, the sheriff expected it could have gone as late as 9 or 10 at night.
Because it was waived, he said that it would save the county a lot of money because his deputies would not have to be paid for a 16- or 18-hour day, which would have required significant amounts of overtime.
-- Paula Reed Ward
First Published December 14, 2011 12:00 am