New Bedford Police Chief David Provencher is on a mission to establish a greater police presence in the city.

The police department has added 18 more officers this month, six of whom were sworn in this morning.

Provencher tells WBSM News the department currently retains 272 officers. He'd like to see the force operate at a 285 officer minimum, but that requires more funding.

Five of the 18 new officers are being funded through grants.

Provencher says he's trying to restore positions that were previously cut over the past several years.

He says a larger force allows more officers to focus on quality of life and community issues.