Hazleton Taking A United Stand Against Crime

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HAZLETON --- Residents in Hazleton are taking a strong stand against crime.

For the first time all the neighborhood crime watch groups in the city met together with city officials Tuesday night.

The savage beating of AJ Goryl in March continues to leave the 33-year old hospitalized after he was found lying in the intersection of Lafayette Court and Fifth Street.

No arrests have been made and this crime is among several that remain unsolved.

That`s why roughly 75 people, including Goryl`s parents, came to the Hazleton One Community Center to talk about crime.

“I think it’s nice for neighbors to get involved to take these license plate numbers down and see to what`s going on, the activity that`s going on in these neighborhoods,” said Nicholas Cassano.

But this is a unique meeting.

For the first time all the city`s neighbor crime watch groups are meeting together under one roof.

“For us to start sharing information because the crimes that are going to happen tonight on your street, two days from now are going to happen on my street. Criminals don`t know boundaries,” said Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.

“Everybody has to stick together, it`s all communities, it`s not just Hazleton, it`s surrounding communities,” said Joe Sacco from Hazlet Township.

This will also give law enforcement access to all the groups at one time.

“They can come to one place, give whatever they`re going to give, you don`t have them running around, our detectives are really busy, our officers are busy,” said Vilmarie Budde, one of the organizers.

The chief is also spreading the word about dog fighting in the city saying those connected with dog fights are typically involved in other criminal activity as well.

“I have drug dealers and violent criminals in my neighborhood that we can`t get on that, but if we can get them on this cruel and inhumane crime and put them away on that, I`m winning all the way around,” said Chief DeAndrea.

The chief is hosting a seminar on October 15th at the Hazleton One Community Center to train law enforcement on dog training investigations.

It is not open to the public.