Fall River police chief takes leave of absence; acting chief to be sworn in

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass (WPRI) — The Fall River Police Department will soon have a new interim chief after the current chief took an extended leave of absence on Monday.

Mayor Paul Coogan’s office announced Tuesday that Chief Jeffrey Cardoza took the leave for health-related reasons, and it will continue until his anticipated retirement in March.

“Chief Jeffrey Cardoza has acted admirably over the last year and a half as Chief of Police,” Coogan said in a statement. “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,” Coogan continued. “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.”

Capt. Paul Gauvin, who’s been with the department for more than 24 years, will be sworn in as acting chief on Tuesday, according to the mayor’s office. In that time, Gauvin has served in the department’s vice and intelligence unit, major crimes division, and as a uniform division watch commander.

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