The New Bedford Police Union is demanding "the immediate resignation" of Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro and if Cordeiro refuses to quit, for Mayor Jon Mitchell to "remove" and replace him. The union cites what it said is Cordeiro's "incompetence," "inefficiency" and "selfish acts" as its reasons for wanting him gone.

Union President Hank Turgeon says morale amongst the rank and file is low. He says Cordeiro's programs "are failing miserably" and suggests that the chief's "poor decision making" was in part responsible for "the recent growth of the vicious criminal gang, the Latin Kings." Turgeon says "the Latin Kings expanded their operations" in the North End as our officers were assigned to Community Outreach Initiatives and Designated Patrols resulting in the FBI "having to intercede" by conducting a massive gang raid earlier this month.

You can read the full letter here: New Bedford Police Union Letter.

Mayor Jon Mitchell responded to the call for Cordeiro's head by noting that Cordeiro has his "full confidence and support." Mitchell also noted that the union and the city are negotiating a new contract. Cordeiro says he is "disappointed" by the union's demand but "not surprised" and suggested that the union has "sought to lobby for public pressure" as a negotiating strategy.

I love our police officers but I am hard-pressed to recall a time when the police union's morale was not low. I don't know what the fix to this problem is but one thing is certain, it's got to get fixed. The current situation is chaos, plain and simple, and it cannot be allowed to continue this way. Chaos only breeds more chaos.

Our elected officials, Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro and the New Bedford Police Union owe it to the taxpayers of New Bedford to figure this thing out. The people of this city deserve better than this seemingly neverending drama.

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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