NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford's police and fire departments could see $1.3 million in equipment and facilities upgrades, under a proposal from Mayor Jon Mitchell.

Mitchell's office stated in a release Friday that the mayor is proposing new equipment purchases for the city's police department and facilities upgrades at two fire stations.

The money would come from "free cash" left over from the city's operations budget from fiscal year 2022 and certified by the state.

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According to the mayor's office, New Bedford's free cash from fiscal year 2022 adds up to over $12.8 million.

Most of that will be put in the city's financial reserves, as required by fiscal policies approved by New Bedford officials years ago, the release noted.


Mitchell's proposed upgrades would need approval from the city council.

His proposal includes $400,000 to replace police tablets and $375,000 for six patrol vehicles for the police department.

The plan would also set aside $495,000 to finish work at the fire station on Pleasant Street and $85,000 for electrical upgrades at the Acushnet Avenue fire station.

Other funding proposed by the mayor includes $9.3 million for New Bedford's rainy day fund, almost $1.3 million for retiree healthcare reserves, and $300,000 for a new street sweeper.


"Our consistent commitment to maintaining our financial reserves has enabled the city to maintain its strong bond rating," Mitchell said.

"The additional investments in public safety equipment and facilities will help our police officers and firefighters to do their jobs more effectively."

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