Hazleton’s new special street crime unit

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(WBRE/WYOU) –Crime fighting in the city of Hazleton is being taken to another level. A higher level according to police chief Jerry Speziale.

This is in response to recent shootings in the city. And it all has to do with a new special street crime unit. That new unit has made dozens of arrests. Eyewitness News spoke to the officer who runs the organization. He says the bad guys won’t see what’s coming until it’s too late.

“If you come to Hazleton to commit crimes, to sell drugs here, we are coming for you. There’s no place you could go. We will come after you. No place to go,” Detective Lieutenant Anthony White said.

White is known as a no-nonsense cop. He heads up the city’s new special street crime unit. The unit was launched in response to a rash of shootings in the city.

“We basically have been targeting all the possible players that we know of, people that we believe are involved in the shootings. We’ve been taking every opportunity talking with everybody we can to go after them,” White said.

In recent weeks, the unit has arrested more than a dozen people in connection with all types of crimes. Most of them drug-related. It has also seized drugs, weapons, and cash.

“Information is key in our business. Communicating with people in the community that have information that are willing to share with us. We’ll come meet with you,” White said.

And police chief Jerry Speziale says two undercover officers are homegrown.

“They know the players. These are two Hazleton individuals that grew up here and grew up in this generation so they know all the players. They know all the spots,” Speziale said.

Eyewitness News could not interview those two officers because they do undercover work. Chief Speziale says his officers can’t be everywhere but he just wants those who would commit crimes to have some doubts as to where they might be.

If you have any information on crimes in Hazleton you can anonymously reach out to the special street crime unit or dial 911.

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