As Promised, Chief Garcia Shuffles Police Assignments, Councilman Newton Wants Answers

Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia on Wednesday announced a shakeup in the ranks that includes senior officials challenging her ascension to assistant chief prior to her appointment as top cop last year following the resignation of AJ Perez awaiting sentencing for rigging the police examination.

Garcia recently told members of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee that department restructuring would take place.

“I have been doing restructuring within our department, looking at the needs assessment, hearing what the council and community has to say. We are restructuring. Just give me a little bit of time.”

So the department shakeup is not a surprise. The personalities involved, a different story.

Fitzgerald and Porter have challenged Garcia’s appointment as assistant police chief in Superior Court. Last week, Mayor Joseph Ganim was served with a notice that he will have to give a deposition in the case and explain why Garcia was promoted despite claims that she wasn’t qualified.

It’s unclear if there’s any linkage but East End City Council member Ernie Newton is urging chairs of the Public Safety Committee Maria Valle and Mary McBride-Lee to call an emergency meeting with Garcia to explain the changes.

“Our police dept has gone through many bad situations,” writes Newton in an email. “The changes Chief Garcia had made looks like retaliation against officers who have filed law suit against her and the City of Bridgeport. We as a council should be pushing for the Mayor to put out a search for a Police chief here in the city of Bridgeport. I hope the chairman of public safety will today!”

There’s no specificity in the City Charter for the mayor to initiate a national search for chief.

Garcia order:



  1. “There’s no specificity in the City Charter for the mayor to initiate a national search for chief.”

    Try reading the Charter Ernie. In a nutshell, Eric Amador who serves as Civil Service and Labor Director can’t start the search until and only when the mayor makes such request or order. The Charter doesn’t set a timeline requiring the mayor to do so. I noticed that changes were taking place. I noticed that some officers had Sargent uniforms and was told that in late December there had been promotions.

    1. You can’t teach people to do what that guy does. ..
      For having observational skills superior to specific City Council members, I nominate Joel “Speedy’ Gonzalez as OIB’s blogger of the day.

    2. The Charter doesn’t say that the mayor has to make the request – says upon request – so the public safety committee could make the request of the personnel director

      1. Tom Errichetti, the change came when the city had the charter revision when Bill Holden and Phil Smith were the chairman when that change was made. Backroom dealing does occur between the city and the union A union might not want a new chief in the fire and police department because they don’t want a outsider and especially one from another state and the other side is the mayor wants to control the chief with putting in someone as the “Acting” chief. There are positions that I know that require a nationwide search to fill the open position, police and fire chief and the Personnel Director and Mayor Finch and Mayor Ganim allowed David Dunn to work for 12 years as the “Acting” Personnel Director and the only reason that Dunn is not the “Acting” Personnel Director because the FBI arrested him.

  2. Ernie, whever a single transfer is made. It triggers other transfers. If Police Chief Joel Gonzalez moves Fitsgerald to another division. The Captain in that Division has to be moved to some other division and the transferring continues division by division. If a Captain retires, a vacancy is created and filled eventually, sometimes without transferring or having to shuffle all Captains. Retaliation? It happens or lets just called the appearance of retaliation. Example: AJ Perez was appointed acting chief out of Detective Bureau. Porter is moved to Detective Bureau. A detective under Porter’s supervision is discovered leaving his job to his home in Stratford and is fired. As Captain, Porter is held responsible as DB captain, causing a strain on his employment record and is transferred with Fitzgerald moved to The Detective Bureau. Now, the fact was that many in the Detective Bureau knew that the Detective punching in and going home had been doing that for a while, including when AJ was Captain of the Detective Bureau. A set-up of Porter? All those Captains are Capable men who can handle any division they are moved to.

      1. I chaired the public safety committee at the most dangerous and problematic period in our history as far as public safety was concerned with. I can’t remember a single time in which I made demands of or dictated anything to Chief Sweeney. I occassionally had one on one meetings and communications with the chief.
        I had several ride along with patrol officers and the chief. Visited and toured police station and substation and all other police facilities, etc.
        About two month ago, I ran into Councilman Jorge Cruz who currently holds one of the council seats I held in the 131 st. District. I started a publlic safety conversation with him and first suggested a ride along. He quickly cut me off and stated something to the extent: I’m not getting into a fucking police car. I’ve been in the back seat of them plenty of times. Blah, blah, blah. End of conversation. I’ve always been open and transparent of my past. I’ve been on handcuffs and the back seat of Police cars plenty of times myself. I served to make a difference and perhaps make up for the bad I had done. Side note: In most police related incidents involvement, SPEEDY was too fast to catch.

        1. Joel I commend you for your service to the city and effort to get in front of the police car.

          Jorge Cruz is just another wanna be politician in our city. Times have changed as most of our elected officials have been in the back of police cars rather than in the front seat. I.e Eneida Martinez, Ernie Newton, Jorge cruz, Tony Barr, ganim, Maria pereira… you know what I’m getting at lol

          Politicians today want to make policies in front of a news camera and not in the Office or in this case in the “front seat” of a police car. Cowards.

    1. What are the advatntage/s and disadvantage/s of shuffling Captains as an example. Detective Bureau: When transferring the captain (especially one who has been there for a few years) you lose the vast knowledge or familiarity of past and current investigations. The new guy must catch up with current and past criminal acts and investigations, etc.

      Advantage: Captains get to run and learn the dynamics of running defferent divisions, etc.

      1. JG,
        Congratulations on asking one of the important questions regarding the “shuffle” for the benefit of increasing knowledge of City process. Perhaps there are other advantages/disadvantages to the moves? What action/initiative started this round of moves among the “brass” in the PD?
        While the acting Chief points to the understaffing in the PD, does she not understand that failure to make the month to month numbers of police employed at any time relative to recent years or the hours of overtime actually used in similar periods, opaque to the public and taxpayers? Were such charts available to all, the most threatening risks to maintaining adequacy of public safety officers might be dealt with directly and/or focus efforts on redressing our efforts to train and employ for 25 years. Time will tell.

      1. Jo Salling, I’ve have been at hearing on this topic and the transfer was deemed to be a disciplinary transfer. The two transfer of Fitzgerald and Porter are retaliatory because of their lawsuit. Jo Salling, the contract is not the only the thing that governs someone action on the job, you have the City’s rules and regulations for conduct on the job, you have state policies and federal rules. This is very clear that Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia’s action are retaliatory and I can see Fitzgerald and Porter adding Chief Garcia’s action to their lawsuit against because the city is a party to this retaliatory action.

  3. Does anyone expect Mary Lee McBride to get any explanation on this?….Here’s the conversation
    Joe Ganim….”Mary Lee,these changes were needed”
    Mary Lee…….”Ok Joe,that’s good enough for me”

    1. I take it that Ganim2’s word is the Gold Standard for some Council members. “What, ” says Joe. It must be so!
      No wonder that is the extent of oversight too often on the CC. What is Guidepost saying to the City through the last quarter of 2020? Numbers and data to help management find the “truth of a matter” or create a credible story line? Time will tell.

  4. I’m still waiting for Councilwoman Rev. Mary Lee to explain why Senator Marilyn Moore was not black enough to be mayor but Joe Gamin who is white is good enough to be the mayor.

  5. Paul (Local eyes) made reference to the zookeeper so in the same vain I will use that for an analogy.
    The Zookeeper quits and the monkey is hired to replace the Zookeeper. No one says nothing about the monkey being the Zookeeper until the Monkey says it’s going to let all the Lions, Tigers and Bears go free. Now everyone is saying what the Monkey doing is wrong, but all noise should be been made when the Monkey was first given a job that it was unqualified to have. The Monkey is very nice, just not a damn Zookeeper.

    1. Donald Day, you take liberties I didn’t give you!
      You can’t replace a zookeeper with a monkey.
      Your analogy is weak and without merit.
      Only Lennie’s generosity allows you to post here!

  6. *** I might be “wrong” but there is no police administrational position below chief & deputy chief which are assigned by the mayor, that are a permanent position right? So in other words, like it or not the P.D chief can make changes, no? It seems to me that when ever there’s a change in the chiefs position weather police or fire depts. There are changes made, some of the changes are liked & some not so much. I also notice that there’s always complaints by one group or the other as to the picks made, there experience or time in the dept. there race or gender or if there an outsider, etc… Either the union’s don’t like them or the present management or the line staff but its always something! I believe police chief Garcia while still the chief of the Bpt. P/D has the authority & right under the job scopes to change or move personal as she feels fit for the better of the dept. & city of Bpt. Regardless of the city council’s nip picking & the few police primadonnas that think there untouchable while working for the police dept. & the taxpayers of Bpt.

    1. Mojo, the ONLY way that Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia can be the Police Chief is by Joe Ganim giving her the position, she has NEVER taken or pass the exam to become the Police Chief but both Fitzgerald and Porter did pass the Police Chief exam. Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia does have the right and power to make these moves but is it wise considering the fact that Chief Garcia is involved in a lawsuit involving Fitzgerald and Porter for the position of Police Chief. Mojo, you will find in just about all union contracts in section 1, article 1 the management-rights clause that gives the direction and the movement of the orkplace is soley up to the management. Employees are protect by the federal The National Labor Relations Board. Good to hear from you Mojo.

      1. *** I understand the labor process that is suppose to be followed by the city of Bpt. & in many pass incidents has not been, etc… But the fact that remains to be acknowledged is that Chief Garcia, qualified or not has been picked by the mayor to be the city’s chief. Weather its for a short term or long term, remains to be seen in the future. Till then those that scored in the top 3 on the chief’s examinations need to file their personal suits, union or labor grievance’s & shut up & lead by example as professional lower rank management P/D officers. In other words “stop” rocking the boat & acting like P/D primadonnas & let the legal civil & grievance process take its usual course in these type matters. Also those on the city council that really have nothing “positive” to gain or contribute to these labor issues should, after being briefed on the possible principle’s at hand, stop trying to gran-stand about something you cannot @ this time, do nothing about! ***

  7. Lol, Paul are you drunk again? What do you bring to OIB other than the ramblings of a drunk white man!

    You wonder if it’s merely the generosity of Lennie that I am allowed to post in this forum! I am allowed to post on this forum because I bring a uniquely Afrocentric perspective, one that isn’t dependent upon the generosity of a white Mayor, a white supervisor or a white man. I am the voice of the Black culture who speaks for a segment of the culture that isn’t afraid to Speak Truth to Power irrespective of who it offends. I am a Strong Black man that fears no one or nothing because I’m not beholding to any white person or Black person for that matter for anything. All Lennie has to do is delete and I’m history, but he’d be left with feeble minded drunks like yourself.

    1. Don, there are a number people on OIB who say that all we do is to put race into everything but like you said, ” bring a uniquely Afrocentric perspective, one that isn’t dependent upon the generosity of a white Mayor, a white supervisor or a white man.” That view is not about any particular political party but it’s about American history.

      President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

      President 45 worked the hell out of the statement, just look to Jan. 6, 2021. Don, LBJ comment is the reverse of the Willie Lynch Letter.

      “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

    2. Double-D, it sounds like you’re making an identity statement. Did you run this by Moses? ).
      “I am the voice of the Black culture who speaks for a segment of the culture that isn’t afraid to Speak Truth to Power irrespective of who it offends. I am a Strong Black man that fears no one or nothing because I’m not beholding to any white person.. ”

      Before you slander me make sure you can withstand the pushback and you’re not dependent on a bankrupt institution.

      1. Joel, I can’t love Black without hating white? So now you’re an expert on all things Donald Day? May I suggest that you keep your head in the toilets and out of everything Donald Day. ☻☻

        1. Don, on March 8, 27 years ago Joel Gonzalez made a point that gained national attention, severing a trigger finger to protest gun violence. Don there’s no way that you as a black man could be as smart as Joel Gonzalez and get national attention like he did.

  8. The last time that the BPD was fully-functional, and at least somewhat connected to the community in a spirit of partnership, was under the Fabrizi Administration. For whatever criticisms might be raised about the latter, John Fabrizi was committed to community policing and safe neighborhoods, and was a frequent participant in neighborhood public safety meetings and even neighborhood safety patrols involving joint BPD/block watch participants… He clearly had a love for the City and concern for the individual neighborhoods and the average Bridgeporter…

    The BPD had its functional problems and morale problems/unhappiness in those days — as it has for as long as anyone on this blog can remember — but it had a clearer mission and modus operandi (to maintain public safety at the personal level/maintain safe streets by engaging the BPD rank-and-file effectively/efficiently in cooperation with the public, at the neighborhood level…). acting-Chief Garcia was at the leading edge of that effort in the city’s innovative Domestic Violence Unit as its first commander.

    Since the Fabrizi Administration, the mission of the BPD has become ever murkier — as has its modus operandi — descending now to unprecedented depths, almost to the level of individual officers having to determine their own mission and modus operandi (which most have done, in an effective positive manner, to their great credit).

    It is obvious that the Ganim Administration, and the greater part of its CC, have no clue or great concern regarding the status of the BPD and its effectiveness. The main concerns of the present Administration and its CC lackeys are reelection/reappointment and the maintenance of perks/jobs… Efforts in pursuit of the latter are describable mainly in terms of propaganda and the recycling of “news” concerning decades-old, yet-to-be -accomplished, fluid/ever-changing projects/plans [with a new, improbable/inappropriate, region-serving (tax-negative) project thrown-in, as indicated)], as well as announcements of chump-change grants tossed to the city from Hartford and DC to assure critical Bridgeport votes, as needed…

    It is notable that there is no longer a Community Services Division in the new Department Organization Chart (nothing concerning a Domestic Violence Unit) — nor anything new and appropriate for addressing the tightening grip of the gangs (through violence/intimidation) on virtually all of the neighborhoods of the city. This is very telling, in regard to a Mayor/Administration, per the implicit disregard/disrespect of the latter for the city’s citizens and neighborhoods… *(It must be noted that the illegal-drug trade is Bridgeport’s biggest, most-lucrative business and employer, operating openly/”freely”/tax-free in most neighborhoods…)

    Something smells really, really rotten in “Denmark.”

    1. Rich, I notice that everytime a topic comes up concerning the police, contract and labor issues you never make any comments, and you were the union President of the union in Stamford.

        1. And you must have forgotten that I have supported the fact that if picking internally, Rodney Porter would have been an excellent choice. I have also said in the past that Bridgeport needs to go outside and get a top notched guy but that would never happen with existing politicians in place.

          1. Rich, your comments are about business as usual or it’s about Mario and Joe nothing about details, nothing about the charter. Porter was a easy choice but you give no reason or what he bring to the table.

  9. You know Ron, you always seem to have all the good ideas and even better answers so maybe you should run for mayor. This way you can continue to ask questions , get input, and ask more questions about the same thing in a different way! Then you can repeat everything again.


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