According to Mayor Coogan’s Office, as of Monday, December 6th, Fall River Police Department Chief Jeffrey Cardoza is on extended leave for health related reasons, which will continue until his anticipated retirement in March 2022.
The Acting Chief will be sworn in today, Tuesday, December 7th before a committee is assembled to advise the hiring of the next Chief. Mayor Paul Coogan issued the following statement:
“Chief Jeffrey Cardoza has acted admirably over the last year and a half as Chief of Police. His leadership made significant positive changes to the force, while overseeing the Department’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and several other unexpected roadblocks. On behalf of the City, I thank him for his years of service to the Police Department and to our residents. While we are sad to see his departure, he has left the Fall River Police Department in a better place and we look forward to working with the Acting Chief to continue the progress he has made.”
Acting Chief Paul Gauvin has over 24 year of service with the Fall River Police Department. He has served in the Vice and Intelligence Unit, Staff Services, Professional Standards, Major Crimes Division and as a Uniform Division Watch Commander.
Cardoza was born and raised in Fall River. He graduated from BMC Durfee High School and later attended Bristol Community College where he received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He then transferred to Roger Williams University and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice, and most recently received his Masters Degree in Public Administration from Anna Maria College. In addition to his education, Cardoza was a 29 year veteran of the Fall River Police Department upon becoming chief where he had served in several leadership roles. He started his career as a Uniform Patrol Officer and over time successfully earned the rank of Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain.
Upon becoming chief, Cardoza looked to restore stability and boost morale in the Fall River Police Department and increase community policing.
Cardoza’s tenure wasn’t without controversy as officers were involved in scandals concerning police brutality, social media posts, and issues concerning evidence not being handled properly. Some of the incidents occurred before his time as Chief began, but came to the surface while he was chief.