New Bedford Police respond to mental health check at King Village after “shots fired” report

“New Bedford police were conducting a wellness check on a suicidal male when shots were suddenly fired.

“On July 2nd at 11 pm, patrol units responded to “King Village East” apartments to check the welfare of a tenant who had made suicidal threats. Numerous attempts to contact the male were unsuccessful, however, management soon arrived on the scene to unlock the door.

As police entered the apartment, a shot was fired which penetrated several walls and nearly struck the officers present. As the officers took cover, a second shot rang out. Tenants in the surrounding apartments were evacuated and a call was made to activate the SEMLEC (South-Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council) special reaction team, of which NBPD officers are members. The team utilized a robot to breach the apartment doors and conduct reconnaissance. Upon doing so, it was learned the tenant was deceased from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

New Bedford police detectives and Massachusetts state police detectives assigned to CPAC are further investigating the incident.

“I’m thankful that all the officers who responded to the call last night are safe. This incident is an example of the dangers police officers face on a regular basis as they are called up to navigate extremely volatile situations.”-Chief Paul Oliveira.

U.S. Coast Guard suspends search for fisherman lost between New Bedford and Martha’s Vineyard

On Friday, July 1, we announced the story about the U.S. Coast Guard searching for a person in the water and believed to be somewhere between Nomans Island, which is south of Martha’s Vineyard, and New Bedford.

The missing person was on a fishing boat called the “Susan Rose” out of Point Judith, last seen around midnight Friday and heading back toward New Bedford. Those aboard noticed a 54-year-old fisherman was not on board around 1:30 a.m. It’s presumed that the person went overboard.

The F/V Susan Rose is a 77-foot Stern Trawler homeported in Point Judith, Rhode Island. The search covered approx. 1,065 sqr. nautical miles with a total of 53 asset hours.

The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies have officially suspended the search pending further developments.

Massachusetts Fire Marshall ahead of July 4th celebrations: “Leave fireworks to the professionals!”

More Than 900 Fires, 31 Severe Burns Attributed to Fireworks Since 2012.

Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and State Police Colonel Christopher S. Mason are reminding residents to leave fireworks to the professionals this summer.

Massachusetts fire departments reported more than 900 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2012 and 2021, officials said. In addition to the 43 fire service injuries and $2.1 million in damages attributed to these fires, Massachusetts medical facilities reported 31 severe burn injuries extending to 5% or more of the victims’ bodies that were caused by illegal fireworks.

“People are injured and property is lost to illegal fireworks every single year in Massachusetts,” State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said. “As we enter the period when most of these incidents occur, we’re reminding everyone that fireworks are illegal because they are dangerous. Many cities and towns will have professional fireworks displays this year, so play it safe and leave fireworks to the professionals.”

“The possession, use, and sale of fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts without certification and licensing,” said Colonel Mason. “Massachusetts law requires the confiscation of any illegal fireworks we encounter, even if legally purchased elsewhere. State Police and our local partners will be conducting targeted enforcement efforts to intercept illegal fireworks coming into the state and we will seize any that we find in routine traffic stops.”

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Officials emphasized that fireworks, including sparklers, are especially unsafe around children. Sparklers burn at temperatures of over 1,800° Fahrenheit – hotter than the melting point of glass and aluminum. According to a 2021 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “there were an estimated 1,600 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 900 with sparklers” in 2020. This accounted for almost 10% of all fireworks-related injuries that year. Of those 900 injuries from sparklers, 44% were to children under the age of 5.

Fireworks fires peaked in Massachusetts during the summer of 2020, with 120 incidents reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System that year. They declined by 67% to 40 incidents in 2021 as many cities and towns resumed their public fireworks displays and police departments increased enforcement. State Police seized more than 47,000 units of illegal fireworks and issued 65 criminal summonses during last year’s enforcement operations. Those operations will resume this summer, officials said.

The Department of Fire Services posts a list of permitted municipal fireworks displays and updates it each week through the summer. To view the list – and to learn more about the dangers of illegal fireworks – visit the DFS website.” Massachusetts State Police.

Massachusetts Environmental Police adding extra boat patrols to deal with BUIs on July 4th weekend

“The Massachusetts Environmental Police will be joining law enforcement agencies from across the country who will be on heightened alert this Fourth of July weekend for those in violation of boating under the influence laws.

Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating incidents. Alcohol consumption can affect you quicker in a boating environment due to sun, wind, boat vibration, and the motion of the vessel while underway.

Massachusetts law prohibits anyone from operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. A person is considered to be boating under the influence (BUI) if their blood or breath alcohol concentration is .08% or greater or they are under the influence of any controlled substance. Individuals convicted of BUI may face imprisonment, fines, and have their motor vehicle license and vessel registrations revoked.

Keep it simple, don’t drink and boat!” -Massachusetts Environmental Police.

Concerned New Bedford mom seeks public’s help locating her missing 12-year old son

“Hello. I wanted to see if you could post pictures of my son. His name is Steven Arruda, he is 12 years old and he was last seen in the area of Normandin and Brooklyn Park.

A police report has been filed. If you have any information or see him please call the New Bedford Police Department at (508) 991-6300 or me at 774-400-8870. Thank you.” -Sarah Paine.

Sarah Paine photo.

Sarah Paine photo.

Sarah Paine photo.

Sarah Paine photo.

Sarah Paine photo.

Food waste drop-off program begins for New Bedford, 100 FREE starter kits for residents

There’s a better place for your banana peels, coffee grounds, meat, and moldy strawberries.

Your wasted food doesn’t have to go in the trash. Starting June 30, residents can drop off food waste at the City of New Bedford’s Recycling Center at 1103 Shawmut Avenue.

Items you can drop off include all unpackaged food e.g., fruits, vegetables, peels, meat, bones, shells, eggshells, dairy, breads, grains, baked goods, tea bags that tear – no nylon, coffee grounds, coffee filters, napkins, and paper towels.

“About 21% of what residents dispose of is food waste. This program will help residents reduce waste at home and keep food waste out of the Crapo Hill Landfill,” said Jennifer Vieira, Acting Director, City of New Bedford Department of Facilities and Fleet Management.

The less that is added to the landfill, the longer it will last. When the landfill reaches capacity, new options will need to be found for managing our waste. These options will very likely be more expensive than the current costs at our local landfill.

Photo by Marissa Perez-Dormitzer.

Starter Kits

To kick off the program, 100 free starter kits will be distributed to New Bedford residents while supplies last. Each kit includes a kitchen counter bin, roll of compostable bags, and a 5-gallon bucket for transporting the accepted waste to the Recycling Center.

Starter kits will be available starting June 30 at the Recycling Center, 1103 Shawmut Avenue. The Recycling Center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon to 5 pm and Saturday 7:30 am to 3:00 p.m. The kits will also be available at the Department of Facilities and Fleet Management, 294 Liberty Street. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Here’s how to use your starter kit:

01. Find a spot for your kitchen bin. Line it with a compostable bag.
02. Fill the kitchen bin with accepted materials (see below for details).
03. When the container is almost full, tie off the compostable bag and place it into the 5-gallon bucket.
04. When the 5-gallon bucket is almost full, take it to the Recycling Center.

Don’t have a starter kit? You can put food in any container such as a bowl and line it with a paper bag. Or don’t line it all. Any bucket will work to transport the food waste to the Recycling Center.

Again, items you can drop off include all unpackaged food e.g., fruits, vegetables, peels, meat, bones, shells, eggshells, dairy, breads, grains, baked goods, tea bags that tear – no nylon, coffee grounds, coffee filters, napkins, and paper towels.

Items that are not accepted include cleaning chemicals, diapers, glass, pet waste, plastic bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, plates, cups, utensils, recycling, trash, and yard waste.

Recycle Works

The Recycling Center has carts designated for food waste. The carts are emptied weekly by a partnering company called Recycle Works and brought to an anaerobic digester in Rhode Island. In this process, bacteria break down the food waste into biogas that can be used for heat, electricity, or fuel, and a solid material called digestate that can be used for fertilizer or animal bedding. The Recycling Center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon to 5 pm and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For more information, call the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District at (508) 979-1493, or email Marissa@gnbrrmdistrict.org.

New Bedford’s WHALE receives $1.05 million ARPA grant to create affordable housing units

WHALE is honored to receive a $1.05 million grant from City of New Bedford’s Housing Expansion Initiative, announced April 1, 2022. Five affordable housing development projects were awarded a total of 11.2 million from federal funds received by the City under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program administered by the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

WHALE is creating eight affordable housing units at the historic Hillman Firehouse on County Street. Originally constructed in 1892-93 as a neighborhood fire station and, later, the City’s Civil Defense Headquarters, the once beautiful brick and granite exterior, punctuated with terra cotta accents, was slated for demolition until WHALE and the City stepped in to rescue it.

A historic landmark, the Hillman Firehouse once contributed to the fabric of a vibrant neighborhood but had become abandoned and derelict. Restored to its original beauty, the building will provide affordable housing, bringing new life and a sense of pride to the community.

The Hillman Firehouse is $3 million dollar restoration project that is consistent with WHALE’s overarching goal to use historic restoration as a tool to:

• stabilize neighborhoods, develop affordable housing and educational space
• foster economic vitality and create workforce opportunities
• expand New Bedford’s growing arts and culture sector
• preserve New Bedford’s rich historical sites and multicultural heritage

“Quote from Teri or Diane” Include “We are truly grateful for the City’s support, and thank Mayor Mitchell and the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development, led by Patrick Sullivan, along with our federal delegation: Congressman Keating, and Senators Warren and Markey.

Massachusetts State Police, local police host “Cops & Cars” show to benefit kids with cancer

“Saturday, Trooper Jesse Walker III joined Falmouth Police Department at the 2nd annual Cops and Cars car show and touch-a-truck event to benefit Tommy’s Place. Tommy’s Place is a vacation home for children battling cancer.

There, children and their families stay free of charge for a Cape Cod vacation in Falmouth. The Touch-A-Truck event featured police & first responder equipment, a K-9 demonstration, the NHRA “Follow A Dream” Drag Racing Team, Food Trucks, raffles, a 50/50 drawing and more!

The Massachusetts State Police helicopter Air 5, and The MSP mounted unit were some of the highlights of the day’s events.

Trooper Walker III and the Massachusetts State Police Pink Patch Cruiser took home some hardware, winning the trophy for “Best Police Cruiser” among tough competition.

Keep an eye out for the MSP Air Wing, Mounted Unit, and the Pink Patch Cruiser across the state during the summer months as we continue to make an appearance at community events.”-Massachusetts State Police.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

Massachusetts State Police photo.

New Bedford Police receive LEAD van for harm-reduction response to low-level offenses

“The Bristol County District Attorney’s office has contributed towards the purchase of a new vehicle for the New Bedford police department.

On June 21st, a new 2022 Kia Carnival passenger van was put on the road. This van will primarily be used by the department’s LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) team and outreach workers. LEAD is a program launched in May 2018 which focuses on a harm-reduction response to lower-level offenses such as simple drug possession. The intent is to reduce the number of individuals being sent to court or incarcerated and divert them to treatment instead.

LEAD is a collaborative effort between the NBPD, the District Attorney’s office, 7 Hills Behavioral and will soon include the NB Health Dept. The operational team now includes Gifford St. Wellness and Steppingstones peer-to-peer program.

To date, 119 people have gone through the program and been diverted away from their initial criminal charges which are eliminated by the District Attorney’s office upon completion. LEAD is a national program that began in Seattle, Washington, and has spread throughout the country. We are proud to boast the first LEAD program here in Massachusetts.

This van will be used by the team to head out into the community to visit individuals post-overdose, distribute Narcan, and check on various program participants.

“Prior to the acquisition of this vehicle, outreach workers had to use cruisers to conduct visits. These cruisers drew unwanted attention to the person being visited. This van enhances the effectiveness of our team and I’m very grateful to DA Quinn for recognizing the value of preventive programs like this.” said Chief Paul Oliveira.

Those who qualify for participation in the LEAD program are individuals who struggle with a substance abuse disorder, have committed a misdemeanor offense, and are receptive to the process.

PHOTO from left to right – Deputy Chief Adelino Sousa, Sgt. Samuel Ortega (program supervisor), Natasha Patricio (project coordinator), Haywood Barnes (full-time recovery coach), Ashley Cabral (part-time recovery coach), District Attorney Tom Quinn, and Chief Paul Oliveira.” -New Bedford Police Department.

New Bedford Police Department photo.

Massachusetts Fire Dept. “We’re in a drought: your tossed cigarette butts will start a fire”

Mulch is a combustible material that can be easily ignited by improperly discarded smoking materials. Hundreds of small and large fires are started this way every year. The risk is that what starts as a small outdoor mulch fire can quickly spread to buildings.

A mulch fire can be well underway before someone notices or is alerted by smoke alarms or sprinkler systems activating.

The most notable mulch fire in Massachusetts occurred in May 2015 in a large Arlington apartment complex. One man died in the fire started by smoking materials discarded in a mulch bed, which then spread to the building. Thirty-six apartments and six cars were destroyed. The building had no sprinklers and the estimated dollar loss was $6.7 million.

In April 2012, improperly discarded smoking materials ignited mulch outside an assisted living center in Braintree. The fire forced many older adults to evacuate in the early morning hours. Several suffered smoke inhalation injuries.

In May 2008, a cigarette ignited a mulch fire at a Peabody apartment complex. It caused $6.7 million in damage to the building, displaced 750 people temporarily and 36 permanently.

“Why would anyone carelessly toss a lit cigarette into mulch?

With our dry weather and fanned by a breeze, the smoldering fire could spread. Be respectful to our neighbors! Help to prevent fires! Thankfully the fire was quickly extinguished.

Go to the link for more info: https://camb.ma/3NeTbpY.” -Cambridge MA Fire Department.

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