FOXBORO – New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveira is heading to Gillette Stadium today to meet with Patriots owner Robert Kraft to announce a new initiative within the police department – the first in News -England.
The New England Patriots, New England Revolution and New Bedford Police Department will hold a press conference announcing the launch of Lights On! a community program whose mission is to restore relations between communities and law enforcement.
New Bedford is the first New England partner to market the innovative program thanks to the donation from the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution, according to a media advisory from the Patriots organization.
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Under the Lights On! program, New Bedford officers at roadside checks can provide a voucher for a free repair on vehicle mechanical issues rather than citing the driver. Some common mechanical violations include burnt out bulbs, broken turn signals, etc. The partnership is in collaboration with the following automotive centers:
- · Joe and Perky Gas Station – 2907 Acushnet Ave.
- Cottage Street Motors Inc. – 589 Cottage Street
- Luzo Automotive Center – 19 County St.
“The lights on! is a way to build relationships between police departments and the communities they serve,” said Don Samuels, CEO and Founder of Lights On! in the media advisory. “Instead of punishing drivers for broken lights, we can fix the mechanical problem and alleviate what often becomes a downward spiral for community members in need.”
“We’re giving officers a new tool on their duty belt that creates positive interaction and improves community-police relations during these tense times,” Samuels said.
“This program will be able to provide our agents with the ability to turn typically negative interactions into positive ones,” Oliveira said in the statement. “It’s a great way for our agents to build trust with the community and engage them in positive interaction. Sometimes routine traffic checks can become confrontational, and we would like to reduce this possibility.
“On behalf of the department and the community of New Bedford, we are so grateful to the Kraft family, the New England Patriots organization and the Lights On foundation for agreeing to partner with us on this exciting opportunity.” , Oliveira said.
“This program will complement our community policing philosophy which has built trust in our neighborhoods and significantly reduced crime across the city,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “I am grateful to the NFL, the Patriots and the Kraft family for their loving support.”