Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III will be the next elected U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. He should build a network of contacts with local police officers.

Local police officers know what is going on in the cities and towns they serve and protect on a daily basis. Congressman Kennedy needs to hear directly and regularly from the men and women that police the streets of Massachusetts.

It might save lives.

There are plenty of valuable studies on crime and social problems by academics. Those studies are based on years of data. These studies are important to understanding our society and for developing solutions. These studies also take a long time.

Most crime data used in studies comes from the activity of the police officers. Congressman Kennedy should develop a direct pipeline of information from local police officers across Massachusetts.

Long before the politicians knew about the "opioid crisis," the police on the streets knew about it and the horrors this new trend was causing.

How many lives would have been saved if a U.S. senator had the information the local police had in a timely manner? A senator with regular meetings with police would have been able to challenge the status quo and moved public resources to save lives.

Officers like Patrolman Hank Turgeon, who also leads the New Bedford Police Union, and Lt. Kevin Kobza of the Fairhaven Police Department, have information that a U.S. senator needs to hear about on a regular basis.

A deep network of local police officers would provide Congressman Kennedy with the important information he needs to combat the social ills that plague our local cities and towns. It would make sense to have a dedicated staffer as the liaison to this network to ensure the pipeline of information is constantly open and responsive.

It might save lives.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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