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Police Standoff Concerns

Earlier this week police responded to an hours long standoff in Cambria County.

This situation is raising concern over security as many neighbors were seen filming & live streaming the events as they unfolded.

Nicole Fuschino tells us why investigators say this could hinder police operations.

The Cambria County S.E.R.T. Team uses big equipment like this Bearcat here behind me to make sure their officers are kept safe during standoff situations like what we saw in Johnstown
earlier this past week.

But it could just take one photo, video, or live stream from a bystander posting that to social media to disrupt their entire operation.

This was the scene Tuesday at the Oakhurst Homes apartment complex in Johnstown where police say

A Johnstown man prompted a standoff as he held a woman & her baby hostage inside of these walls.

Police say during those five hours neighbors & bystanders came out to watch instead of staying inside.

“Everybody wants to see what’s going on. Everybody wants to be in the know. Anybody who puts themselves in the line of sight of that resident, now also puts themselves in danger and in
harm’s way.”

Beyond that he says bystanders pulled out their phones and started sharing photos & videos to social media

And even live streaming the events to Facebook in real time.

“A lot of what we do, we try to be discreet about our movements and our tactics that we’re using. Unfortunately, when people live stream those events, it gives the opportunity for the
bad guy that we’re trying to get out of his house peacefully, and not hurt anybody, it gives away some of the tactics that we’re using and gives that person the opportunity to see
what we’re doing outside the residence.”

Plunkard says live streaming can not only give away critical information but can also threaten the safety of everyone involved.

“When it’s not illegal for anybody to do that, we would appreciate it when we set up that scene and that perimeter, that people take that into account when they’re trying to live stream
and post that information, that you could be jeopardizing the safety of not only the officers, but the innocent victims that are involved in that situation.”

As for what you should do in these situations Plunkard’s message is simple and clear

“Stay in your homes. Help us make sure that everything is safe by staying clear of that area.”

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