Capt. Joseph Cordeiro sworn in as New Bedford police chief

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Police officers from all over Southeastern Massachusetts were on hand Thursday to witness the swearing in of New Bedford’s new top cop.

“I, Joseph Cordeiro, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of the chief of police. So help me God.”

With those words, Capt. Joseph Cordeiro took charge of the New Bedford Police Department and its 254 officers in front of a crowd at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced the decision earlier this week.

“He will be a great leader and lead us to a bright future,” Mitchell said Thursday.

Cordeiro, a 30-year veteran of the department, acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead, including the opioid crisis, and vowed to make some changes to the department.

“We can’t arrest our way out of addiction. That’s for sure,” he said. “But I’ll tell you what we’ll do right out of the gate. We’ll start putting handcuffs on mid to high-level heroin dealers.”

“Looking for a long-term fix is going to require input from the community.”

He takes over for Chief David Provencher, who died suddenly at the age of 59 back in December.

Capt. Paul Oliveira was selected to serve as the next deputy chief.

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