NEW BEDFORD- The New Bedford Police Department promoted three of its officers today during a formal ceremony at Keith Middle School in New Bedford. Between them is more than fifty years of combined law enforcement experience, serving New Bedford through a span of three decades.

The presentation officially promoted Lieutenant Frank Correia to Captain, Sergeant Nathaniel Rodriguez to Lieutenant, and Officer Raul Espinal to Sergeant.

New Bedford Chief of Police Joseph Cordeiro led the presentation, speaking of the accomplishments and leadership provided by the three men in his staff he is moving up in rank. Before honoring the accomplishments of each man individually, Cordeiro acknowledged the confidence he has in the promotions while also giving orders to his men to follow throughout their new roles.

“You have to change to fit the role you’re going to be fit in. Don’t worry about the criticism or the critics”, advised Cordeiro.

“We are public servants, and sometimes we forget that. We are here for the people who depend and rely on us. I know you guys are going to do great things. I know you’re going to do it and I believe in you, we all do.”

Rising from the rank of Lieutenant is Captain Frank Correia, who spent his entire 24-year career as a police officer in New Bedford. Correia first moved to the United States from Cape Verde in 1978, joining the New Bedford Police Department in 1993. After seven years on patrol he became a detective in 2000, then was promoted to Sergeant in 2010, and again to Lieutenant in 2013. With his promotion to Captain today, Frank Correia is officially the first-ever Cape Verdean born captain of the New Bedford Police Department.

Replacing Correia is Lieutenant Nathaniel Rodriguez, a Sergeant before his rise in command today. Rodriguez began his career in law enforcement in New Bedford as well, in 2004 as a first-generation Puerto-Rican. Just nine years into his law-enforcement career, Rodriguez was impressively promoted to Sergeant before accepting his most recent position change.

“I’m very proud of his work here”, Chief Cordeiro said. “He studied, he worked hard. In 2013 which is a short time period, he got promoted to Sergeant.”

The third and final officer to rise in rank is Sergeant Raul Espinal. Like Rodriguez, Sergeant Espinal began his law-enforcement career thirteen-years ago in New Bedford. Born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, he learned the importance of a having trusted and effective police force in a city. In 2011, Espinal began his work as a detective following countless attempts from peers to convince him to take the new job.

Prior to the ceremony, City Councilors Steve Martins and Linda Morad assisted in pre-ceremony routines. Martins led those attending in the Pledge of Allegiance while Morad spoke on behalf of City Council to show appreciation to the officers honored today and the rest of the Police Department.

“To the leadership of the New Bedford Police Department, thank-you as you continue to move forward with new innovative ways to keep our city safe”, said Councilor Morad.

“We appreciate what you have done in your service, we look forward to your continued success, we thank you for what you have done.”

Mayor Jon Mitchell was not in attendance and could not speak because of a previous commitment. The Mayor’s Office expressed his condolences in his absence during the ceremony.







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