NEW BEDFORD _ The New Bedford Police Department welcomed six new officers to the department following a swearing-in ceremony Monday, Sept. 17 at the New Bedford Public Library meeting room.

The new officers are: Adam Amaro, Justice Andrade, Jonathan Fagundes, Nathaniel Goncalo, Gerald Harris Jr. and Jessica Nicoli.

Mayor Jon Mitchell, Chief Joseph Cordeiro, Deputy Chief Paul Oliveira and City Councilors Linda Morad, Scott Lima and Ian Abreu were on hand to congratulate the new officers, wish them well in their new positions and thank their families for providing ongoing love and support to them as they begin their work as New Bedford Police Officers.

Lt. Nathaniel Rodriguez served as master of ceremonies. Senior Pastor Brian Dube and Pastor Jamie Casey of South Coast Community Church, Fairhaven offered prayers for the new officers. Both men are Inter-Church Council/New Bedford Police Department outreach chaplains

The new officers were sworn in by City Clerk Dennis Farias.

Mayor Mitchell told the new officers that they hold a very important position, one that is the cornerstone of the city. "None of it happens unless people feel safe in their city,'' Mayor Mitchell said.

Chief Cordeiro thanked the new officers' families for instilling good values and character that they now bring to their roles as New Bedford police officers.

Community service is a crucial component of their work, the chief said. He urged them to use their hearts, brains and words, as well as the knowledge obtained in their training, to make the best decisions in situations that can be complex and not always clear-cut. "We're dealing with people's lives,'' he said.

Officer Amaro, 29, graduated from New Bedford High School in 2007. He is the son of Nereida Amaro and Daniel Amaro, the brother of Bryan Amaro and the fiance of Rachel Revolinski.

"I was born and raised in New Bedford, and it’s always been a dream of mine to make a positive impact in the city that I love,'' Officer Amaro said.

Officer Andrade, 22, graduated from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He is the son of a public school teacher in New Bedford and a Massachusetts State Trooper and has two younger brothers.

"I saw the rewarding career both my parents have had in public service. I love the community I live in and wanted a job where I was out working in New Bedford,'' Officer Andrade said.

Officer Goncalo, 23,  graduated from New Bedford High School in 2012 and from Anna Maria College for criminal justice in 2017. He is the son of Elizabeth Chaves and Nobert Goncalo and has three younger sisters.

"I became a police officer to proudly serve my community and have the opportunity to help and save lives every day,'' he said.

Officer Harris Jr., 29, is studying legal studies in the bachelors program at American Military University.

He is the son of  Angela Dodson and Gerald Harris Sr., the husband of Ashley Ann Harris and the father of Isaiah David Harris.

Born and raised in Baltimore, he moved to Massachusetts in 2009 and attended Bridgewater State University. "I have been blessed with the opportunity to be able to serve my country (United States Army), my state (MA National Guard), and now my home, New Bedford, Massachusetts.  When the opportunity presented itself to be a part of the New Bedford Police Department, I thought  'What better city to give back to than the one I now call home?' ''

Officer Nicoli, 27, is studying psychology and Homeland Security at Endicott College and is the mother of two daughters, Callie, 5, and Ripley, 3.

"I want to give back to my community and make a difference in people's lives, being someone who can relate to people, coming from a place of empathy and compassion,'' she said. "New Bedford is an amazing city and I cannot wait to be a part of this community in a way that I was not capable of before. ''

Officer Fagundes, 37, graduated from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, class of 1999. He is the son of Millie Vargas and Joseph Fagundes and husband of Mindy Fagundes and is the father of three.

"I chose to become a New Bedford police officer because I want to be part of the team of men and women who look to better our community through public service,'' he said.

— New Bedford Police Department