New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro and I had a rather heated exchange on my Tuesday program. Let's be clear, I like and respect Cordeiro and did not enjoy being combative with him.

Since Friday, I have been frustrated by the lack of information surrounding the attack on a police officer's apartment at the Brickenwood housing complex off Hathaway Road. I was able to gather information, but it came through back channels and not through official sources. When that happens, misinformation or exaggerations of fact tend to meld with the truth. That can be dangerous.

The public should have been informed of the incident within hours of it happening. That was the primary point I hoped to drive home to Cordeiro through our conversation. I'm not sure he got it. The people deserve to know when things are happening in our community, and it is the police chief's responsibility to tell them. Mayor Jon Mitchell is equally responsible for keeping the public informed. I know he doesn't get it.

WBSM operates as a full-service radio station with a license granted by the Federal Communications Commission. We are required to provide news and information to our area of licensure. It is a difficult task when the people in charge of our coverage area refuse to cooperate.

For whatever reason, this administration favors secrecy over openness. That is unfortunate. We will continue to fight to provide you with the information you deserve as residents and taxpayers in New Bedford.

Chief Cordeiro extended an olive branch to me on the air with a pledge to work more cooperatively together. That cooperation must include a willingness to be as open with us as reasonably possible so that we can report to you, our listeners.

We've been here before. I hope that Chief Cordeiro is sincere in his desire for a more cooperative relationship. Time will tell.

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 and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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