It hasn't been an easy year for law enforcement, especially here in New Bedford. Not that long ago, there were rumors about defunding the police budget, and criticism from a group that said the department is racist because its controversial report suggested New Bedford Police stop and question people of color more frequently than others.

And just recently, the New Bedford Police Department and City Hall faced criticism from this radio station and many of it listeners for not providing any information about a daylight shooting on Rockdale Avenue or the shooting of the home of a police officer.

It was a tenuous time that directly or indirectly led to Police Chief Joe Cordeiro taking his well-deserved retirement after serving the public on the force for 35 loyal years. I have a lot of respect for the former chief. He is a very good person and deserves many good years in his retirement.

That said, I want to bring attention to something that hasn't occurred in New Bedford in a very long time. New Bedford's new acting chief, Paul Oliveira, has to be applauded for demonstrating department professionalism by assembling a press conference conducted skillfully by New Bedford Police Public Information Officer Lt. Scott Carola to address a fatal shooting in the city's South End on Wednesday.

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The story from the police can be brief, as short as just an official confirmation that a person has been shot and has died from the injuries sustained. But in the past, whenever a similar crime took place, the newsroom never received that timely confirmation from the police, so we couldn't really report on it, because Facebook and other social media are unreliable sources.

Hats off to the New Bedford Police Department. As an important source for SouthCoast news, WBSM depends on official, accurate facts from the local authorities so we can report with the knowledge that all the information you are hearing is true.

I have a good feeling that things have taken a turn for the better.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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