The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University has recognized New Bedford's Police Peer Helper Program as a "Bright Idea" in government.  Mayor Jon Mitchell, Police Chief David Provencher, and Katie Gilfeather, President of Outlook, E-A-P made the announcement Tuesday at City Hall.  The Peer Helper program in New Bedford has been operating for more than 20 years.  Trained officers volunteer their time to reach out to their peers to address personal issues, domestic problems or challenges they face on the job.  Mayor Mitchell says police officers are often reluctant to ask for help.

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About a dozen officers are currently part of the Peer Helper Program, having been trained through the city's employee assistance program.