New Bedford Streets Are Meaner [OPINION]
In an embarrassing report for the Whaling City, New Bedford was found to be statistically the most dangerous city south of Boston—a list that includes Brockton, Fall River and Taunton.
*Edited 4/17/19 9:53 pm: Originally I posted Brockton's 2017 violent crime statistic as being 962 when in fact I conflated the 2015 statistic. The correct number for Brockton was 917.
What was New Bedford's in 2015? Your guess is as good as mine because the FBI posted every major city's Table 8 UCR violent crime statistics, except New Bedford's which is MIA that year. I have submitted a request for explanation to the FBI.
Brockton reported 917 violent crimes last year and seems was still measurably safer than New Bedford based on the formula for gauging public safety. What an astounding piece of news.
Other Massachusetts cities that ranked safer than New Bedford include Springfield, Worcester, Lynn, Chicopee, Revere, Boston, Cambridge, Haverhill, Lowell, and others. If you want to see the methodology in how SafeHome.org figured out these rankings, there is a link to their formulas about halfway down this page.
Coming on the heels of the police union going public with their lack of confidence in Chief Joseph Cordeiro, this piece calling into question the safety of New Bedford is not something Mayor Jon Mitchell would want to have his constituents read today.
Recently, the City itself was under a criminal probe regarding the loss of a very expensive parcel of rare lumber stored by the City.
While the Bristol County District Attorney's Office did not see evidence of any criminal wrongdoing in the Ernestina lumber issue at the DPI in Quittacas Yard, they did point out a less-than-impressive level of communication, which was problematic and the cause of the loss of what was once described as an "invaluable" parcel. And it was lost due to poor leadership put into position by Mayor Mitchell.
The poor communications assessment among City employees that was the result of the criminal probe, which to me is an understatement, was concerning enough. But then the police union let the public know of their morale problems earlier this week and now, the news that New Bedford is measurably every bit unsafe as some of the most pessimistic talk radio callers suggest—all of this will call into question the mayor's ability to keep the city safe.
There are not a lot of places for him to point to, outside of the mirror. He has been the mayor of New Bedford since 2012, and I think he put it best on WJAR 10 in December when he said, "As mayor, the buck stops here."
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@