Hazleton Gets New Fleet

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HAZLETON -- Hazleton's police chief says he's been trying new things to make his department more efficient and Monday, he unveiled five new crime fighting tools that he hopes will help.

Some Hazleton police officers checked out what they'll be using to patrol the streets in the city. The cruisers were outfitted by the Kovatch Mobile Equipment Company in Nesquehoning.

"I feel like a father whose kids are opening their gifts for Christmas," said   Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.

The chief says the cruisers are state of the art and should boost officer morale and show Hazleton's residents they have a professional police force protecting and serving them.

"To finally have a professional image when they drive through town instead of having an antiquated, dangerous fleet of vehicles. They're three different paint schemes and nothing matched."

We rode with Officer Mario Howey as he tested out his new set of wheels.

"It looks good, you look good in it. You look more respectful driving around in a brand new car. You don't have to worry about getting broken down on the side of the road and make yourself look like a little bit of a fool getting stuck on the side of the road while in a police cruiser."

The five police cruisers are being leased at a cost of $150,000 for five years.

"This basically started out as doing a favor for some of our local departments to do some lettering or some lighting and we looked at this line and said, 'why can't we do this as a business?" explained Bob Lebo of Kovatch Mobile Equipment.

Company officials say they've worked with 60police departments so far and are confident that number will grow.