The New Bedford Police Union has issued a statement critical of Mayor Jon Mitchell for releasing details about a union meeting held to take a vote "in opposition" to Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro.

In releasing that information, Union President Hank Turgeon claims the mayor has embarrassed the police chief and made it impossible for Cordeiro to lead the department.

In his statement last weekend, Mayor Mitchell said Chief Cordeiro had the experience and skills to lead the police department and called him "the right person  for the job."

Turgeon says the meeting was requested by the union membership, but the union leadership has not informed the mayor of the results. He says the union had intended to discuss the issues on a more "confidential and private basis" with the mayor, the city council's Public Safety Committee and Chief Cordeiro.

The statement goes on to say that the union has no intention of releasing the result of their vote to the public, "unless discussions with the city's administration result in additional frustration." The New Bedford Police Union is currently negotiating a contract with the City.

Turgeon says the release of "private information" by the mayor only weakens the police department and casts doubt in the minds of citizens as to whether their police department can continue to keep them safe.

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