New Bedford was the scene of terrorist violence last week. A police officer's apartment was shot up; thankfully, nobody was injured.

The scene of the shooting was a government-funded public housing project. The police officer was living in that complex as part of a long-running program to make public housing for the poor safer for the residents. Across the country, public housing projects have been notorious locations for illegal drugs and the violent crime that comes with the illegal drug trade.

This attack on the home of a police officer was meant to intimidate the police officers on the ground. It was meant to intimidate the local elected officials who make policy in the city. And it was meant to intimidate the residents who live in that public housing complex.

To me, this shooting was an act of war.

A few months ago, the home of New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell was visited with similar intimidation tactics. A car drove by his home and either fired a gun or exploded fireworks in an effort to scare Mitchell and his wife and children.

I know there were also credible threats made against other New Bedford police officers' homes and families, which triggered area police departments to increase patrols in the areas where police officers live.

These incidents may not be coordinated but they are not isolated, either.

The city of New Bedford is going in one direction or the other. The only response to terrorism is to increase manpower and go after the terrorists and the people who make a community fertile ground for the terrorist to operate.

We can't let New Bedford descend into a Beirut or a Saigon.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

The 100 Best Places to Live on the East Coast

Enter your number to get our free mobile app