New Bedford Chief’s Video Defense Misses the Mark [OPINION]
Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro posted a 7:38 video to the City of New Bedford Police Department Facebook page on Saturday to "set the record straight" on several issues we have called him out over in recent weeks. Those issues include the shooting of a cop's home at Brickenwood, Cordeiro's conflicting statements regarding police notification of that incident, and a recent shooting that occurred in broad daylight on Rockdale Avenue.
Cordeiro's remarks fall far short of addressing any of our concerns.
For example, in his remarks, Cordeiro offered a third version of his explanation about whether officers received proper notification of the serious threat they faced because of the Brickenwood shooting. Remember, an armed man was on the loose who had fired eight shots into the home of a police officer.
In his latest attempt to explain what happened, Cordeiro is back to insisting that a BOLO was broadcast on the police radio, but the transcript he provides for that broadcast indicates that the extent of the threat was never made clear. Cordeiro states, "Officer safety was never in jeopardy." That is not true.
Remember, Cordeiro walked back his claim about a broadcast BOLO and instead said a "terminal message" was issued. Now we're back to a broadcast BOLO.
A month and a half later, the Brickenwood shooter is still on the loose, but Cordeiro wants you to know that he is working on it.
"The investigation in that case, I’m very happy to tell you, is going very well, and we will be closing that very shortly, successfully, and I hope to very shortly come back and inform you that we have somebody in custody," he said.
Last week, we reported on a shooting that occurred in broad daylight on Rockdale Avenue. The occupant of one car opened fire on the occupants in another car, which then swerved into another lane, striking a third car. Cordeiro says that investigation is also "going very well, and we will be closing that very shortly, successfully, and I hope to very shortly come back and inform you that we have somebody in custody."
Cordeiro spoke about police logs and crime rates and how he is studying the ShotSpotter system to see why it doesn't seem to be working all that well. Good stuff.
What Cordeiro did not address is why he refuses to inform you when a violent crime occurs in the city. Why is the public not told when a police officer's home is shot up, or when there is a shooting in heavy traffic on Rockdale Avenue? That is the crux of the issue here. Why is everything kept secret? Mayor Jon Mitchell and Police Chief Cordeiro have, by policy, established a secret society. That is bizarre.
Police blogs online for all to see? Wonderful. It's no replacement, though, for telling the public when a serious crime occurs. You know, the way that mayors and police chiefs do in other cities.
Why address all of this in a video anyway? Why not have a press conference and answer questions instead of a video dump on a Saturday morning?
I bet the only reason he cut the video in the first place is that Mitchell told him to.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.