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New Bedford Police welcome three new officers

NEW BEDFORD _ The New Bedford Police Department welcomed three new officers Monday, Nov. 20, at a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall.

Officers Drew Frenette, Andrew Parker and Stephen Tomasia were sworn in by City Clerk Dennis Farias.

Mayor Jon Mitchell, City Councilor Kerry Winterson, Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro and Lt. Ricard Rezendes were on hand to welcome the city’s three newest officers.

The three new officers graduated Wednesday, Nov. 15, from the 64th Recruit Officers Course at Plymouth Police Academy. They were officially sworn in Monday.

At Monday’s ceremony, Mayor Jon Mitchell welcomed the new officers to a department that is highly respected among the public and the law enforcement community.

“The job you are about to embark on is a really important one,” the mayor told them.

“Being a police officer means being there when people need you most. When people are in peril, whether perceived or very real, it’s the police they turn to.”

Police officers tackle many different roles, he said, including keepers of the peace, marriage counselors and inspiration for children. “We ask a lot of officers,” Mayor Mitchell said.

Councilor Winterson reminded the officers of the importance of making a good first impression as they make their way through the city. “That first impression you make is going to be a building block” toward a successful career, he said.

Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro congratulated the new officers for making it through a rigorous process, including background checks and police recruit training, that results in their wearing the New Bedford Police Department badge.

The new officers are empowered with “a lot of responsibility, a lot of authority,” Chief Cordeiro said. He urged the new officers to “treat people the way you would want your family to be treated.”

He told the new officers they are joining a family that will watch out for them as they watch out for their fellow officers and the community. “We take good care of each other,” Chief Cordeiro said. “This is a team effort. Nobody can do this alone.”

“This job is about building relationships,” Chief Cordeiro said. “Put a smile on your face and walk proud, you are a New Bedford Police officer.”

Officer Frenette is a lifelong resident of New Bedford. He graduated from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School in 2011 and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Endicott College in 2015.

He is a second-generation member of the department: His father, Ronald E. Frenette, served as a New Bedford Police officer from 1985 to 1992. “I always liked the image of police officers and how they hold themselves,” he said.

Officer Parker was born and raised in New Bedford. He graduated from New Bedford High School on 2003. He said he chose to become a New Bedford police officer because of the importance of the job within the community.

“I like helping people,” he said.

Officer Tomasio was born in New Bedford but later moved to Fairhaven, where he graduated from Fairhaven High School. He later earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Bristol Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater State University in 2003.

He lives in New Bedford and spent several years working at a Department of Youth Services lock-up facility before deciding to become a New Bedford police officer. His ultimate goal, he said, was to work in law enforcement and his life experience, particularly in working with people, will be an asset.

The three new officers graduated Wednesday, Nov. 15 from the 64th Recruit Officers Course at Plymouth Police Academy.