The New Bedford police department is an organization of law enforcement professionals committed to their mission of maintaining order, enforcing law, and building trust within the community. Not only do we expect our officers to execute this mission, but we insist that it be done with respect to the rights and freedoms granted to all citizens under the constitution.
New Bedford officers experienced a very active year as we emerged from a global pandemic during which most of our population were isolated. As people began to leave their homes and once again returned to normal activity on the streets, our calls for service rose proportionally. We continue to adapt to the many changes that have been instituted in the American law enforcement profession.
These changes include the establishment of POST (Peace Officer Standards & Training), a newly formed government body of oversight that regulates the certification of police officers. As POST continues to shape its reporting requirements, we continue to cooperate by transmitting all the pertinent information they request. This provides the state with the critical ability to identify problematic law enforcement officers and either retrain them or terminate their employment before their actions lead to tragedy.
Our focus has shifted to be less upon engagement and more upon de-escalation, as our department has initiated ICAT training (Integrated Communication, Assessment & Tactics). Every member of the department will be completing this class which will provide them with the tools necessary to approach volatile situations from a fresh perspective, one in which we embrace the concept of using time to consider a wider range of responses, solutions, and reactions. I believe this is ground-breaking training that will lead to better future outcomes for officers and citizens alike.
I remain excited and hopeful for 2023. The safety of the city is in the hands of an amazing group of men and women who work tirelessly in the performance of their duties, many times with a selfless disregard for their own. I am proud to be the leader of this organization, and equally proud to be a member of this community.
Chief Paul Oliveira