HAZLETON—Security was tight at the Wiltsie Center in Hazleton Monday night, as people poured in to talk about crime in and around the city during a town hall. People at the meeting said there has been a recent wave of violence, beatings, stabbings and shootings. They said something has to be done quickly.
“Scared, scared to walk out anymore anywhere. You have to watch your back, and all these shootings and knives and everything going on, it’s scary,” said Chris Wenner of West Hazleton.
Many came to talk frankly about drugs and violence. The Luzerne County County district attorney, local and state lawmakers, area police chiefs and a district magistrate were all there to offer information.
“I think what I will benefit from is being able to go away and brainstorm on hearing what some of the people feel is some of the issues,” said Chief Frank DeAndrea of the Hazleton Police.
Some at the town hall meeting said just having a town hall meeting was helpful, by getting everyone together to have a good conversation.
“I think at a time like this when everyone is so scared and otherwise afraid to even come out in public a meeting like this can only help communties bond together better,” said Stan Yurish of West Hazleton.
Organizers said they will have more town hall meetings in the future.