Casino Money to Combat Crime

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HAZLETON -- Those who live in Hazleton say it's not uncommon to hear sirens and see flashing lights.

Over the past few years it's a city that has dealt with an increase in crime.

"When I came back from New York , to have a quiet peaceful life it's like this is the city all over again. It's like, being back in New York," said Veronica Trueluck of Hazleton.

To calm the concerns of it's citizens, Hazleton city council has put in a request for a million dollars in casino money. If approved, the money would be used to understand and combat crime here.

"That's great, because somebody needs to do something about this. It really don't make no sense," Trueluck added.

"Here, we've been suffering numerous vandalism. I'll tell you right now, with that kind of resource it's only going to be able to help them do what they need to do," said Edward Coss, who owns the Hazleton Shopping Plaza.

"We'd like to move the city into the 21st century. We would like to go to electronic tickets and use more of an online reporting system," said Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat.

Jeff Cusat is the city's new mayor. Monday was his first day in office. He won the bid for mayor on a campaign to curb crime in Hazleton.

Cusat explains this million dollar request will help him do that.

Paying for an electronic ticketing system for police officers should reduce police paperwork time and mean more officers on the street.

It would also help track crime for a study to truly understand the crime problem here.

"It's more of a study on where exactly it's taking place, the timing of the events, and will this system work? It's not just a matter of where the crime is. It is will this system help make things go smoother," Cusat added.

The city will not know if they are granted the casino money, until the end of summer. If Hazleton is awarded casino money, it is unlikely to get the full million dollars requested.