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Letter to the editor: Next mayor should start with FRPD to get revenue and expenses in line

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There’s a critical election coming up in a few days, and if our next mayor really wants to do what is right by the taxpayers, that is, to get municipal revenue and expenses in line, a perfect place to start would be the FRPD.

We live in the 10th largest city in the commonwealth, with approximately 89000 residents. The city has a per capita income of $23,650.00, with approximately 19.7% living in poverty. (2020 census figures). In contrast, the average annual salary for Fall Rivers 3008 employees, is a per capita of $51,469.00.

Of the 3008 employees, an astounding 265 of them earn salaries of $100k+, & roughly 125 of those are FRPD employees, with the vast majority of them supplementing their regular pay with overtime. For instance, in 2020, there was a sergeant and a lieutenant, both with 28 years seniority, who together earned a gross salary of over $500K. For the record, no one should begrudge any individual willing to put the time in, especially since they are filling spots that need to be filled. The point should be though, that it would likely be more advantageous for the city to use the many hundreds of thousands spent on O/T to hire additional uniformed personnel to augment current staff. Getting additional boots on the ground, along with black & whites on the street, would go a long way in adding a layer of security to the various neighborhoods throughout the city.

I simply want to urge Fall Rivers hard working citizens to get out and vote on November 2nd, and consider the only mayoral candidate to have a real platform. Mr. Ponte promises a review/audit/re-organization of the FRPD as well as other city departments. This, I believe, would be a great start, and something that has, to my knowledge, never been mentioned by the current administration.

M.R. Napert
Russell Brogan Blvd
Fall River, MA

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