HAZLETON -- Starting as early as next week, the Hazleton City Authority will start mailing out a letter with its water bills telling customers if you are concerned about crime in the city and want to do something about it, here's your chance.
Hazleton is a city that can get a bad rap for its crime. It's common to have concerned citizens complain that something needs to be done. Now the Hazleton City Authority is asking those citizens to put their money where their mouth is. It plans to send out donation forms with the monthly water bills to thousands of customers.
"We thought this would be a useful means for those who could afford, those who wanted to make the donations could make the donations," said David Sosar with Hazleton City Authority.
Sosar says the money will go to a dedicated Hazleton police fund, and if just a quarter of the water customers donate a few dollars this effort could raise tens of thousands of dollars for the city's police force.
"Hazleton may have a guardian angel or two, as well, who may give a larger gift, but we are happy with a dollar or two dollar donations," Sosar added.
"Finance is so key to what we do because there is a cost associated with public safety," said Hazleton Police Chief Jerry Speziale.
For the nearly nine months that Speziale has been the police chief in Hazleton, he's worked to get grant money to help pay for new equipment to help officers fight crime such as shot spotter, that can detect gun shots in the city and instantly record footage.
More money into the department would go a long way to help acquire similar technology.
"I would just like to thank all those involved on behalf of the men and woman of the Hazleton Police Department," Speziale said.
The authority says it plans to keep these donation forms going out monthly. Any donation will be tax deductible.
Eventually, it may even expand to sending the forms out to areas outside the city, like Hazle Township, that don't have their own police department.