NEW BEDFORD - A ceremony at Keith Middle School on Tuesday honored three promotions within the New Bedford Police Department.

The ceremony officially promoted Lieutenant Amos Melo to Captain. Sergeant Robert Holmes Jr. was promoted to Lieutenant to replace Melo, and Officer Paul Fonseca moved up in rank to Sergeant.

“The biggest step you take is going from being 'one of the guys' to a supervisor,” Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro told his three officers. “Being a leader is difficult but it's truly a privilege. It's the privilege to lead, it's the privilege to change people's lives, and it's an honor.”

Captain Amos Melo started out his career in law enforcement as a patrolman at all three city stations in 1989, until his promotion to detective in the NBPD's Narcotics Division in 1993. Melo worked in Narcotics for five years until he earned another promotion, this time to the rank of Sergeant, in 1998.

Melo served in a number of different roles during his years 16 years as Sergeant, and most recently upped in rank to Lieutenant in 2014. He then took on the roles of Public Information Officer and Administrative Assistant to Chief Joseph Cordeiro in 2016. He says he looks forward to his newest role in leading NBPD Station 3, and meeting the people of that area.

“I plan on meeting every one of them in the near future, the next couple of days, and we need to come as one team,” Captain Melo said.

Robert Holmes Jr. began his career in 1988 by joining the NBPD as a police cadet, and was appointed as an officer in 1989. After four years on uniformed patrol, Holmes was promoted to detective in 1993, a position he would remain at until his promotion to Sergeant in 2007 and his move to court liaison in 2009.

“I'm very excited that I can serve the city even more,” Lieutenant Holmes said. “I strongly believe in the community-policing philosophy and I'm going to try and instill that in my men when I'm assigned to my division. I'm just so happy to be here and glad to be promoted,” he said.

Lieutenant Holmes has earned a number of awards during his years with the NBPD, including a lifesaving award for preventing a suicide.

Paul Fonseca was officially appointed as a police officer to the department in 2001 and began working in the Community Police Division in 2008. In 2013, Fonseca joined the department's Narcotics Unit.

Like Melo and Holmes, Sergeant Fonseca has earned numerous awards for his service on the New Bedford Police Department, including a Massachusetts Police Association Medal of Valor, as well as other commendations for public safety and saving a life.

“I'm excited. I'm just hoping I do well for the department and continue what I've been doing for the last 16 years,” Fonseca said.