Ian Abreu, candidate for Council-at-Large in New Bedford, would like to see the City take the same approach to the heroin epidemic as Gloucester has.

Instead of treating addicts as criminals, the Gloucester Police Department sets them up with sponsors to help rehabilitate them. Speaking on "The Taylor Cormier Show," Abreu says Portugal has taken that approach, too. "If you have a drug addiction issue, if you turn yourself in, if you admit that you have a problem, they will find sponsors for you as well. Private sector dollars, or sponsors and investors to help you with your recitivism back into the community," said Abreu. "I've always supported those types of initiatives, and this is something that I would help champion with my colleagues on the Council."

Abreu says he'd like to see more updated drug prevention programs in the school system, making children aware of the dangers of today's street-level and prescription drugs.

When asked if he believes New Bedford is a sanctuary city, Abreu said the city shouldn't be known as a place of last resort, and shouldn't continue to be a dumping ground for Boston's undesirables. "If you want to come down here, and you want to invest in the community, or you want to be a stakeholder in New Bedford and be a fully engaged, functioning citizen and resident, I'll support that every day of the week. But if you have someone coming down here who doesn't care about this city, if they're not community-invested, I can't support that."

However, Abreu says the City's unemployment rate has continued to drop over the past few years, which can attract non-residents seeking work.

Abreu is the manager of Business and Workforce Development at the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce.

He's one of eleven candidates running for an At-Large seat. One of those candidates will be eliminated as a result of the preliminary election on October 6.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420