There is a new top cop in Hazleton.
A former state trooper is now in charge of the city's police department. Frank Deandrea took the pledge Monday to defend the Constitution and the city of Hazleton.
The room was packed with family, friends and lots of members of law enforcement. There were representatives from local, state and federal investigators on hand. Chief Deandrea said he will draw on their tools to help the city fight crime.
"We can only do so much, but if I can lean on my brothers and sisters in their areas of expertise, we will all benefit," said Chief Deandrea.
He has a law enforcement partner he lives with. His wife, Sandy Deandrea, is a state trooper.
"It's great because we have so much in common. If I'm at work and I have a problem and it's something to work on I can go to Frank and say, 'Hey, have you ever done a case like this, anything like that?' and Frank would do the same for me," said Sandy Deandrea.
Census figures show Hazleton's Hispanic population is 40 percent. Chief Deandrea pledges to break down the language barrier.
"We being able to communicate to the community by speaking Spanish is critical to further serve the community," the chief said, "So what I need to do is find a crash course and then build on the officers that I currently have."
Leaders of the Hispanic community like what Deandrea had to say.
"I am optimistic that this chief of police will get more involved with the Hispanic community to realize that it's not only the Hispanics that are doing crimes in this town," said George Irizarry of Hazleton.
The new chief of police tells me one of his first duties is to meet with his officers and the community to get their ideas and concerns so everyone can start out on the right footing.