CREATE AN OFFICE FOR VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Currently, the New Bedford Police Department is the primary department we rely on for the reduction of crime. We cannot police our way out of violence. We need to put more resources into preventing violence before it happens through a holistic approach that incorporates data, mental health and community voices. I’ll create an Office of Violence Prevention to support violence prevention programs and collaborate with community organizations to help mitigate New Bedford’s violence.
LEVERAGE DATA TO REDUCE THE USE OF FORCE AND RACIAL DISPARITIES IN POLICING
We need to take advantage of data collection to move our police force in the right direction. We will apply data-driven methods and community action councils to end the use of unnecessary force against black and brown people and lead to appropriate disciplinary actions. Over-policing fuels violence and breaks down trust.
PROVIDE ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO ALL NEW BEDFORD RESIDENTS
Too many New Bedfordians experience trauma as a result of violence, opioid abuse and disinvestment in our neighborhoods, starting in childhood.
We can’t address our city’s violence without recognizing the impact it has on our mental health. We will increase access to quality and affordable mental health interventions in high-need communities and we’ll invest in providing mental health services both online and over the phone. We’ll also work towards de-stigmatizing mental health support, especially in communities most impacted by violence and/or opioid abuse.
RECRUIT OFFICERS FROM THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE
You deserve police officers who know your name. This starts by hiring more police officers from the neighborhoods they’re serving. My uncle was a Springfield Police Officer for nearly 30 years, it's his policing style that I wish to see drive ours. I saw firsthand both how tough and how rewarding service was for him. He was a friendly and accessible community police officer, and we need more like him walking around the neighborhoods of New Bedford.