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Fall River mayor to face longtime city councilor in upcoming election

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia is coming to the end of his first term and is being challenged by longtime City Councilor Linda Pereira. (WJAR)

Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia is coming to the end of his first term.

He’s being challenged by longtime City Councilor Linda Pereira.

They both agree crime is one of the biggest challenges facing the city.

Correia said he’s taking the proper steps by improving the shot spotter technology that signals when gunfire erupts and by beefing up the surveillance camera system in town. He’s also adding police officers.

“We put seven new police officers on the streets this year. On the streets -- not administrative positions, but on the streets. And we have a plan to continue that this year,” Correia said during the taping of 10 News Conference on Friday.

Pereira wants to build up the force too, calling for a program of adding five new officers a year.

“You do it with a 5-5-5 you do it over time,” Pereira said. “And you can take that out of the budget minimally. We have a $268 million budget. If you took five percent of that, you’d be able to get more police there.”

The mayor has been aggressively trying to rein in the city’s non-profit Office of Economic development, which receives $320,000 a year from the city. To test their effectiveness, he said he sent along their money this year.

“We provided $320,000. Got the job numbers that they created, which was 23 jobs, and we did $25,000 as a business grant -- $25,000 to a small business that moved from Mashpee, and they created 40 jobs.”

Meanwhile, Pereira defended the office.

“They were instrumental in bringing in Amazon, instrumental in the South Coast Marketplace, so I think that you work to that,” she said. “I certainly would never, as the mayor, have resigned off the board -- because you need to be there. “

The two agreed that the bike path should not be bisected by a road, but disagree on how the controversy evolved.

Voters will go to the polls Nov. 7.

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