The 2013 budget leaves current staffing levels for police, fire and DPW in tact but cuts $317,500 in funding combined to those departments. The police department takes the biggest hit by losing $125,000 in funding. Department heads for the fire and police in Hazleton are still trying to determine the impact of the funding cuts but people who work and live in the city aren't happy about them. Chuck Springer owns a barber shop along East Broad Street and worries what less money will mean for law enforcement. "If services are being cut and especially with the police force there could be more crime downtown and anything like that," he said. Others say Hazleton Police need more funding and resources to make the city safer. "Every time I'm looking in the news somebody got shot, somebody got robbed, something bad happened. You know, I mean it's just ridiculous," said Jazmine Luna of Hazleton.
The funding cuts also mean Hazleton Police Chief Frank Deandrea won't be able to fill two vacancies in the department. The chief was out of town on Friday and wasn't available for comment.