The New Bedford Police Union are stressing the importance of the staffing issues they are currently facing in 2023. According to the Police Union they were understaffed for 28 of 31 days in August with only being properly staffed on August 7th, 30th, & 31st. They noted in a statement on social media,
“Mayor Mitchell often uses the term efficient when referring to the police department and how he would like the department to operate. When officers hear that word, they are aware that Mayor Mitchell simply means having less people do more work.”
Below is the full statement by the Police Union along with the calendar photo representation of the staffing shortages they are facing.
“Like the calendar for July, the calendar for August is a visual aid to show how often the New Bedford Police Department is operating with decreased staffing. Each day with a red X represents a day with at least one shift not fully staffed.
We touched on the importance of proper staffing and how having less officers on the streets becomes a risk for the public as well as the officers who are working those shifts. We will continue to do so because we feel that being transparent with the public is important when the services the public is paying for are clearly being cut back.
We will also continue to do so because when there is no communication of staffing plans from department “leadership”, the already low morale of the department can easily sink even lower.
Any environment with poor communication and low morale is not exactly the type of place people are motivated to work in, let alone when the environment pertains to policing and the challenges officers face on a regular basis.
If the plan of the administration is to cut police services by removing officers from the street, it is hard to imagine that some of the policing recommendations in the recent Jensen Hughes study would even be possible. There will be little time to have officers engaging in proactive strategies because they will be handling their own calls for service, in addition to the calls for service that would have been handled by officers whose positions have been left vacant.
Mayor Mitchell often uses the term efficient when referring to the police department and how he would like the department to operate. When officers hear that word, they are aware that Mayor Mitchell simply means having less people do more work.
That is not efficiency. That is the first step in the burnout process. And considering the attention being given to creating new, higher paying positions for administrators which will undoubtedly result in even less work and more pay for the department “leadership”, you may be able to understand why officers continue to look for employment opportunities in other departments.
The priorities are backwards.”