New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro's decision to retire means a search must begin for a new police chief. Cordeiro has been a member of the New Bedford Police Department for 35 years, the last five years as chief. That kind of knowledge and experience at the top is difficult to replace. That is why the next chief should come from the ranks.

When a Chief of Police retires, there is often the urge to conduct a nationwide search to find the best possible replacement. In doing so, the best candidate just might get overlooked. Mayor Jon Mitchell understood that in tapping Cordeiro to lead the department.

When a police chief is brought in from somewhere else, there is a learning curve. The new person has to become acclimated to a new city. He or she must learn the rules, current issues, the local politics, and the people they will lead. None of this is easy. When a new chief is selected from within, they are already familiar with all of that. When a new chief rises from the ranks, they have a sense of local history that only experience can bring.

Mayor Mitchell should also require the new police chief to reside in New Bedford. There is sometimes resentment from taxpayers when a high-salaried department head does not pay local property taxes or contributes economically to the community that feeds them.

Chief Cordeiro and I have had a rocky few months debating policy issues. I have nothing personal against Cordeiro and wish him well in his retirement.

Citizens of New Bedford should let Mayor Mitchell know that they would like the next Chief of Police to be promoted from within and that they be a resident of the City of New Bedford.

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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