NEW BEDFORD-   A new program to enhance relationships between city-residents and local law enforcement was announced at a press conference today by New Bedford Chief of Police Joseph Cordeiro, with Mayor Jon Mitchell alongside.

Known as the Walk and Talk Program, Chief Cordeiro’s goal is to maintain the vital connections New Bedford Police have with local residents and businesses. The citywide initiative is set to officially begin tomorrow morning.

New Bedford police officers will be expected to “take thirty-minutes a day to get out of their car, walk the street and see what the people need” explained Cordeiro. “We want to be walking into businesses or thickly settled neighborhoods to build relationships.”

The Chief went on to explain the necessity of maintaining what he feels is a vital relationship between city-residents and law enforcement, which he expects to get out of the program. The idea being that in progressing established relationships and creating new ones within the community, it will provide New Bedford Police the chance to directly ask the people what they need, as well as provide the department with more connections for investigations.

“The walk and talk initiative is taking the traditional beat officer principles intertwined with the community policing philosophy, operating within the modern policing demands,’’ Cordeiro said.

“This initiative will offer police officers an opportunity to build our relationships with the community and the community to communicate their needs and concerns,’’ the chief said.

Mayor Jon Mitchell was also in attendance, beginning the press conference by praising Cordeiro for the creation and implementation of the Walk and Talk Program. Mitchell provided insight to City Hall’s view on the program, praising the idea as an opportunity to make the city a better place to live, as well as an attractive place for potential investors.

“This important community-building initiative is a great way to get more residents and business owners talking directly with the officers who patrol their neighborhoods. It offers the opportunity for the community to share concerns, ideas and questions with police officers face to face,’’ the mayor said.

“Economic resurgence and neighborhood renewal can’t happen if people cant feel safe”, continued Mitchell.

The Mayor also made a point to highlight the drop in violent-crime throughout the city, as a continued effort to ensure the public of their safety throughout New Bedford. Before handing the attention to Chief Cordeiro, Mitchell reminded reporters that “New Bedford has experienced a dramatic drop in violent-crime.”

After the press conference, Chief Cordeiro invited the press to follow him to the different businesses and restaurants on Acushnet Avenue to demonstrate how the Walk and Talk Program will look. Stopping into different establishments, New Bedford’s Chief of Police conversed with varying customers and owners about the new program in place, making sure to ask them about any assistance they may need.

Any questions regarding the Walk and Talk Program should be directed towards the New Bedford Police Department or New Bedford City Hall.

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