State Senator John Yudichak has announced that the Hazleton and Freeland Police Departments have been awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to help address underage and irresponsible alcohol consumption. As part of the 2012-12 Alcohol Education Grant Program, Hazleton will receive $17,440 while the Freeland grant is $17,280.

“At a time when municipal budgets are stretched thin, these funds will allow these two local police departments to actively combat alcohol issues in a way that may have not have been possible otherwise. This program also rewards the initiative of these two departments to recognize alcohol abuse and try to prevent the problems it can cause,” said Senator Yudichak.

“The Hazleton Police Department and the City of Hazleton are pleased and most grateful for this award. We are impressed that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board not only recognizes the issues alcohol can cause within a community but also provides Police with a way to combat the issue,” said Chief Frank V. DeAndrea, Jr. of the Hazleton Police Department.

“This Grant money awarded to our Police Department will assist greatly in combating issues of illegal alcohol use by minors. The funds will help the Hazleton Police Department increase awareness and combat abuse. We as a Department could not do this important work without the funding supplied by the PLCB.”

The members of Freeland Borough Council, Mayor Tami Martin and Officer Stephen J. Demko, Officer in Charge, Freeland Police Department also expressed their gratitude for the grant that will help combat, investigate, deter, and prevent underage drinking.

“The grant funds will allow the borough to increase police presence and manpower for patrols and attendance at events in the community that deal with the youth. Having received this grant for the 2nd cycle in a row will enable a greater police presence through the Borough of Freeland and the parts of Foster Twp that is patrolled by our police dept, said Officer Demko. “Without the help of Cpl. John Leonard, our Police Dept consultant and grant writer, the tireless effort of our police officers, and the commitment of our local and state elected officials, this success would not be possible.”

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