NEW BEDFORD — While there are indeed changes coming to the staffing of the New Bedford Police Department’s North End station, it will remain open and actively staffed.

An email was reportedly sent out to officers with the New Bedford Police Department on Friday afternoon from Chief Paul Oliveira informing them of staffing changes at Station 3, located at 781 Ashley Boulevard. The email stated that as of this Thursday, September 2, at 4 p.m. there would no longer be desk officers assigned to Station 3.

That email has led to some speculation that the North End station is closing down permanently. However, a department spokesman said that is not the case.

In a response to an inquiry from WBSM News, New Bedford Police Lt. Scott Carola said the station will not be closing.

“Officers assigned to the North End will continue to deploy out of the station as they always have. The station will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with patrol officers and supervisors,” Lt. Carola said.

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However, he acknowledged there will be a staffing change taking place on Thursday, confirming that there will “no longer be a desk officer assigned to the station who will receive members of the public.”

“However, any citizen arriving at the station can activate a call button at the front door, which will immediately establish a video and audio connection with our communications division,” he said.

The New Bedford Police Department has already closed one substation, and another’s closing is imminent. The South End station has closed down and moved operations to the brand new, state-of-the-art public safety center on Brock Avenue. It is believed the City of New Bedford will pursue a similar public safety center for the North End in the future. The downtown station has seen its desk officers transferred out and the station is operating with limited service until it is finally closed down permanently.

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