Mitchell: ‘Still Got Work Cut Out’ Dealing with Crime in North Front Street Area
Last week, Mayor Jon Mitchell and Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro took a walk through the area of Tallman Street and North Front Street, an area which has been rocked by violence as of late.
In his weekly appearance on WBSM, Mayor Mitchell said he wanted people in the neighborhood to know they were there for a couple of reasons.
"One, I wanted people to know that we're doing everything that we can to make a difference, not only to make their neighborhood safer, but to feel safer," he said. "And also, to let them know that if there's anything we're not doing, let us know, so we can get all over it."
Mitchell said he's pleased with how Chief Cordeiro and the NBPD have responded to what's been going on there.
"Police have saturated that area," he said. "The night we were out, there were a lot of people out and about, walking around, walking dogs. Neighbors. It was comforting to see. A lot of them came up to me and said it should always be this way, and they're right. They're absolutely right. What we're trying to do is make that so."
Mitchell said he feels every neighborhood in the city should feel just as safe as any other.
"And we just haven't reached that point in New Bedford yet," he said. "We've made progress in most places, but not everywhere. There are places like North Front Street where we still have got our work cut out."
Mitchell said there is a "multilayered effort" to curb crime.
"Some of the work relates to code enforcement, some of it technical like putting cameras in the right places, and we're doing that now," he said. "Some of it is just deploying police in a very concentrated ways, in areas where we have the most problems. That's doing what some folks refer to as 'predictive policing.' If we know we have a problem in that area, we're going to concentrate in that area."
And of course, Mitchell still believes they need to express to judges that they shouldn't be so lenient on the repeat offenders that keep coming back into these neighborhoods.
"That's a longer and harder thing, but a very necessary thing for us to be doing," he said. "We have an uphill battle to reach with some of the judges who don't always recognize the threats posed by some of the defendants who appear before them."