When most cities and towns are cutting workers because of budget deficits, Fall River is adding shifts. Mayor Will Flanagan is increasing the number of foot patrol police hoping to crack down on drug related crimes.
The mayor said he's sick of Fall River making headlines. First it was arson, four in two months, and there's also been a lot drug related crimes. That's why the mayor said more police are needed now.
Four extra officers will be walking down the streets every day of the week, and mom, Pam Lebeau said it couldn't come at a better time.
"We sit out on our front porch. I have two five year old daughters and we see drug deals, so we don't want to see those," said Lebeau, "We want to be able to sit on our porch and feel safe. We don't want to feel like we need to be in the backyard."
Adding extra foot patrols is going to cost about 70-thousand dollars in overtime, but the people who live in the city said it's worth it. And so did the mayor. He doesn't want people to worry about crime in their front yards anymore.
"Banks are being robbed, crimes are being committed, as far as larcenies and thefts, and it's all being driven by drugs," said Mayor Flanagan.
He called this new initiative proactive patrolling, where officers will chat with neighbors, stop in local banks, and check on businesses.
"It's obvious we don't have enough police in our community," said City Councilor Ray Mitchell, "We need more, but this is a step in the right direction."
It's something long time business owner, Mary Falconera, said she can get used to. In fact, her bridal store depends on it.
"We have a lot of clients coming from Rhode Island, Boston, from the Cape, so it's very important those clients feel safe coming to Fall River," said Falconera.
No new officers will be hired. Those on the force now will be rotating shifts, working on their days off. That 70-thousand dollars will pay for their overtime. Even with that money, the mayor said his budget is balanced. The program runs from May to September.