Across the country – both civilians and police—are hurting. Here at the NBPD, we feel this pain and we’re committed to ensuring the needs of our community are met through innovative community policing programs.
Our officers are out there building bridges with members of the community to maintain healthy and ongoing dialogue. It’s that simple.
Developing these types of relationships isn’t new to the NBPD. Since 2017, it has been dedicated to serving at-risk youth, those experiencing poverty, mental illness, homelessness, addictions, domestic violence and other socio-economic plights through its broad community policing philosophy.
Please reach out to us if you're interesting in learning more about any of the services we offer to the residents of New Bedford.
Every day and on every shift, each patrol officer spends at least 30 minutes out of his or her vehicle walking designated neighborhoods within the city and listening to residents, business owners and visitors. The “Walk and Talk” program is a patrol method that has numerous advantages for both officers and the community. Importantly, it is the method the department uses to listen and understand the needs of our residents.
The Co-Response program provides real-time access to a trained behavioral health clinician. Through the program, an Emergency Services Technician along with NBPD officers respond to individuals who are suffering or experiencing mental or behavioral health crisis.
A clinician provides a community-based intervention with the intent to stabilize non-violent individuals, provide linkages to support systems, reduce the need for these individuals to go to a local emergency department, and decreases arrests of individuals experiencing psychiatric or behavioral health emergencies. The program also decreases the amount of time officers are tied up with behavioral health calls and allows officers to tend to calls for service.
This ride-along program pairs a diversion clinician with a police officer for most of a shift to patrol and respond to calls. The clinician participates in ride-alongs with officers assigned to all three of the City’s patrol stations—thereby ensuring that diversion services are available throughout the city. While on-site with police, the mental health clinician can evaluate the need for immediate services (detox facility, crisis center, and psychiatric emergency room), initiate a mental health hold if necessary, make referrals, and later provide follow-up services to link the individual to further treatment if needed. In addition, the mental health clinician provides a liaison to police in non-crisis situations like assisting police with wellness checks and working with police in other non-criminal community encounters as needed.
We lead a collaborative effort known as the Community Crisis Intervention Team (CCIT), where we stay in regular communication with more than 60 agencies throughout New Bedford. CCIT brings together law enforcement, Health, and Community agencies for the purpose of effectively and compassionately providing care, safety, and services for people experiencing a destabilizing crisis in their lives. Matters brought to this group’s attention primarily involve individuals suffering from some form of mental health. Emergency cases that arise during the month are handled by a committee of members that can best handle a crisis. Partners are added on a regular basis.
LEAD is a program aimed at reducing police contacts and chronic criminal law violations by addressing the underlying causes like drug use, mental illness or extreme poverty. Police are able to identify low-level drug and property crimes and prostitution to substance use disorder and social needs. Through a harm-reduction-oriented approach, case managers aim to get their clients the unmet behavioral health needs assessed, while helping them reach small successes, like obtaining identification cards.
The Shannon Program combines the best practices in public safety and public health to help reduce and eliminate youth gang violence in the city. It provides intervention services and supports at risk individuals age 10-24. The program focuses on the core components of the Comprehensive Gang Model, including a Street Outreach/Case management team and a coordinated law enforcement response through targeted suppression and prosecution. The goal of the program is to prevent the onset or further escalation of gang involvement and serious delinquency in New Bedford among moderate and high-risk youth. It provides street outreach in hot spots and responds to critical incidences of youth violence at any time day or night. Services also cognitive behavioral therapy, life skills, a summer jobs program, social activities and referrals for several social supports. A multitude of case managers, outreach workers and administrators are out there working every day on behalf of the NBPD. We are not starting from scratch at the NBPD. We know knowledge and expertise lies in our community. We have created a model that answers the question: what does safety look like for everyone? Prevention and Intervention keeps our young people out of jail and out of killing.
The goal of this team is to prevent overdose deaths and improve the quality of life in their community. The team consists of police officers, drug counselors, and members of the faith community. Working together, the teams visit homes to offer both counseling, and services to those suffering with addiction. These services are offered to both the patient and their family. Click the following link for a complete view into the important work of this team: Community Outreach.
We partner with federal and local agencies to raise awareness and serve as a conduit of information to identify and prevent human trafficking. We provide a connection for victims with the goal of providing the broadest range of services and resources and the most diverse range of investigation and to the perpetrators of this crime.
Every domestic violence report that comes through, there is a follow-up process that goes along with it, whether is wrap around services (Shelter, counseling, court advocacy on the victim's behalf, referrals, such as housing, catholic social services, food banks) or assist them in obtaining a restraining or harassment orders during after court hours. After court hours, the advocates place calls to on-call judges after the victims fill out an affidavit and explain the circumstances to the judge. We also work closely with Coastline Elderly, Bristol Elder and DCF, through referrals for additional services. Even with the verbal domestic disturbance reports, we send out letters providing the above-mentioned services/referrals. The advocates also run our internship program and they work closely with the city school department, NB Vocational High School, Bristol Community College and U-Mass Dartmouth. On any given semester, we have 4 to 6 interns here
The NBPD leads the collaboration of community agencies — Housing, the School Department, the Health Department, Police Department, Fire Department and youth and family agencies and meets weekly to discuss to discuss and serve individuals in “critical situations.” A plan of action is created, and a response is made within 24 hours. The aim is to pro-actively identify individuals requiring services and get them help very quickly before the traditional police response is required. We aim to catch it early and get as many partners involved as possible to avert tragedy.
This team is made up of community leaders and police officers to assess ongoing socio-economic and human rights challenges in the community and on the department. Together they are able to communicate their unique perspectives and foster the building of bridges in our community.
Members of the NBPD in partnership with community agencies provide Narcan education and assist with referrals to various opioid addiction programs. The program assists fisherman and their families with intervention programs, education, use of Narcan, distribution of Narcan and counseling to combat the opioid disease. Our aim is to help each individual realize what they need and deserve in order to combat this disease.
In an effort to give back to their community while creating career opportunities in the legal professions, Hispanic members of the New Bedford Police Department provide a scholarship at UMass Law in Dartmouth. The scholarship looks to affect students both financially and professionally by offering mentoring and networking opportunities throughout the many agencies that make up the criminal justice system. More than fifteen Hispanic police officers are contributing to the five-year fund that gives first preference to a Hispanic resident of Bristol County with demonstrated financial need.