New Tools for Hazleton Police

HAZLETON, Pa. -- The Hazleton Police Department is working to combat communication issues in the city.

"Whether you're deaf, whether you speak a different language, officers will have a guide," says Chief Jerry Speziale.

The chief says officers will use the guide to figure out which language a person speaks and then use a phone service to better communicate.

"Embracing culture and trying to bridge diversity is something that's 21st century policing that's what we need to do," adds Speziale.

This restaurant owner thinks it will help the city's Hispanic population.

"So, they don't speak any English so they call someone that speaks Spanish and English they can translate it, so I think that's a good job and perfect so we can together we can handle it," says Edward Silvestre of Hazleton.

The Hazleton police chief tells Newswatch 16 these translation services are not the only new addition to the department's resources. After an incident on Alter Street on July 4, the department will now be using crowd control tools.

Most of the department was dealing with this fire when the chief and two officers were struggling to control a crowd setting off fireworks.

"That crowd of 50 to 75 people coming on police officers at their back is extremely dangerous," adds Speziale.

Now, police will be equipped with foggers to help keep officers and residents safe.

"Alter Street's always been bad. I was born there and raised there, then I went to college and came back. It's still the same, but it's just getting worse," says Jackie Donahue.

The chief says these new tools to help his police department will go into use within the next month or two.

Talkback 16 Online Discussion:

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3 comments

  • sick-of-fake-news

    “Embracing culture and trying to bridge diversity is something that’s 21st century policing that’s what we need to do,” adds Speziale.

    How about THEM embracing OUR American culture given the fact that they chose to come here (probably illegally)? How much is this going to cost taxpayers? Outrageous and yet another example of the cost of illegal immigration.