New Bedford Chief Cordeiro Backs Out of Radio Interview [OPINION]
It didn't take long for the detente with the New Bedford Police brass to wither and for things to return to normal.
Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro promised to establish a better working relationship with the news media after the debacle that involved a shooting at a police officer's apartment. As I expected, it was an empty promise.
Cordeiro tried to conceal the incident from the public. Then he erroneously stated that a "be on the lookout," or BOLO, message had been broadcast on the police radio informing officers that an armed suspect with an apparent grudge against police was on the loose. That meant that most area police departments were not notified either, leaving their officers vulnerable.
During a heated exchange on my radio program, Cordeiro pledged a more cooperative relationship with the media and suggested we mend fences over coffee. It never happened.
As he said he would, Cordiero did give me his cell phone number. After letting the dust settle for several weeks, I phoned Cordeiro and invited him onto the program. He responded by texting that he would and asked that we do it this week.
On Thursday afternoon, I received an email from Melissa Batchilder, the Director of Communications for the NBPD. She informed me that Cordeiro's schedule is "jam-packed" and "he isn't available" to keep his commitment to appear on the program right now.
"Please let me know if you'd like me to connect when something opens up," she stated. Sounds like a kiss-off to me. Batchilder then instructed me to "just let us know what topics you'd like him to discuss and we can move forward."
Ah, that's a big NO. That is not how a media interview is conducted.
I asked if that meant that Cordeiro was backing out of his commitment, to which Batchilder replied, "not at all." She concluded by saying, "Just let me know if you shift course and want to let him know of any topics you're considering."
In other words, submit your questions for approval or no interview. Cordeiro has been blowing smoke with the media since he became police chief and I don't expect that to change anytime soon.
Just remember, this is one of New Bedford's highest-paid public servants, and he feels as though he is not accountable to the people who pay his salary. Not only that, he lives in Dartmouth and doesn't even pay property taxes in New Bedford. Nice gig!
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.
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