The New Bedford Police Department is offering its congratulations to Nathaniel Rodriguez on becoming the first Latino officer in the history of the department to achieve the rank of captain. Capt. Rodriquez, promoted from the rank of lieutenant, took command of Station 2 in the South End on Sept. 28.

Rodriguez first joined the department in 2004 after serving as a Bristol County Corrections Officer. He advanced through the ranks prior to earning the department's highest mark in the state’s civil service captain’s exam. Rodriguez is well-known to members of the media, as he served as the department's public information officer, or PIO, since 2018.

“I see this as a moment for all young women and men of not just Latino heritage, but all heritages to realize that we matter to this city and to this country," said Rodriguez of his new resposibilities. "Now is our time to lead with pride in who we are and where we come from.”

New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro spoke up for diversity on the police force.

“With Latinos representing more than 20 percent of New Bedford’s population, we are focused on ensuring our department looks like our city and reflects the perspectives of all cultures and backgrounds," Cordeiro said in a statement. "Imagine the positive difference that can happen when a child sees their own face in that of a police officer.”

Rodriquez said he encourages young people of all backgrounds "to consider the positive difference they can make in choosing this profession. An organization is always better off when it is diverse and can appreciate and respect that diversity."

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