Chief Garcia Plagued By Police Staffing Shortage

File image: Rebeca Garcia, center, with City Council members.

It’s the Achilles’ heel of law enforcement, staffing shortages sidelining foot patrols and community policing. Just when the city brings on a new class of recruits, others retire or resign for the greener pastures of the suburbs.

Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia is managing a department roughly 65 officers short of optimum efficiency. CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart shares the chief’s recent meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

“I was a community policing officer back in the day and I agree [it] is a much needed part of our department,” Garcia said. She said she and her command staff have been getting out and walking certain areas, such as public housing.

There was no discussion about whether, given (Armando) Perez’s arrest as well as nationwide pressure on law enforcers in general given high profile incidents of excessive force, there were any morale issues within Bridgeport hurting recruitment and retention.

But in an October interview following Perez’s arrest, police union head Sgt. Brad Seely said, ‘Officers are leaving (Bridgeport) because neighboring municipalities offer more affordable healthcare, more competitive pay and a more supportive working environment.”

Full story here.



    1. She has no plan because the city’s labor relation department crippled the police department.

      The ONLY reason people come to work in Bridgeport is to get certified because it’s easier to get hired there and then leave after 2 years to Westport, Shelton, Hamden, Norwalk etc because they offer much better benefits, better work environment, and twice the salary with a better pension.

      She can’t develop a plan because the city won’t let her. New hires don’t even have medical after retirement, so they just leave to a department that has one and they make twice the money on salary alone.

      Why work 80 hours a week to make over 100k when you can work 40 in Norwalk and make 97k? Simple math

      1. Jo Salling, of course Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia can develop a plan thereby doing her job, it’s up to the mayor and the City Council to reject or approve.

        1. Well I guess you just don’t understand what Jo tried to explain. That being said if you want to fix it then go ahead and have her hire 95 more officers. Being that they say that they’re short 65 , hire 95 because by the time you go through the process and get them on the road at least 30 more will have been retired so now you’re at your full complement. And then even after that you will still complain about the overtime because that’s just the nature of the beast. Actually never mind what I just said let’s just bring the social workers in.

          1. There’s another down-side to hiring large numbers in one shot–they can all retire at the same time.

        2. People are leaving because of contractual purposes. Bridgeport can’t hold a candle to the benefits of surrounding towns.

          New haven loses all of their cops to Hamden and other towns.

          We lose them to Norwalk Shelton Fairfield Trumbull.

          Garcia has zero ability to negotiate a contract or input.

          1. And? high power law firms pay better than the public defender’s office. If a company loses an employee they hire another. Let be honest who doesn’t want a better job and. I am sure the BPD is not the loose paying job on the totem pole. Again if the Port needs officers to hire them, if it about the leave, make it a state-funded process, or state cops are required to stay on the job for a minimum of 10 years. However, you comparing apples to oranges and blaming Garcia in contractual negotiation is weak in your point of view or at the very least misguided at the turning nature of the situation.

            P.S if Bridgeport officers can just pick up their bags for green pastures wouldn’t they all get up and leave?

            Comrade Ron seems to be on point here, the rest are motivated in one compaction or another. agine JMO JS

          2. Robert,

            You misread my comment. I’m also saying that blaming Garcia for the exodus is unfair. She doesn’t have the power to change or negotiate the contract. It’s not her job. Retention is the job of labor relations. Think of it like football. Dunn and labor relations are like general managers and Garcia is the coach of the team. She stays out of the contract extensions and bonuses to players. She just coaches if you will.

            And the reason most cops don’t leave is because there are only so many openings. 25 of them apply but there is only 2 or 3 openings in smaller towns at max.

          3. Not really, She may not have much of a decision in contract negotiation, but that not the issue, though. You posted, countless times how Garcia been throwing cops under the bus. While she is not a decision-maker for the exodus her throwing cops under the bus is not helping, is it?

            to my point to your post. AND? and “Garcia in contractual negotiation is weak in your point of view or at the very least misguided at the turning nature of the situation.”

            Think of it this way, as the coach of the players (cops) she has a say who starts, (gets cushy position) or sits, and bench (or should I say thrown under the bus) Whatever you mean by that, is she a Bill Belichick?


          4. Actually, and to my point, how big is the exodus that seems to be such an issue in contract negotiations? Hance motivation.

            Comrade, Ron was more on point.

            “Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia, your job is to manage the department so what is your plan for the shortage?”

            She coaches the players she has

            “Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia can develop a plan thereby doing her job, it’s up to the mayor and the City Council to reject or approve.”

            she the coach, gives her assessment to those above her, labor relations, general managers, and “mayor” the “owner.”

            JS. Bam I am out of here. 🙂


      2. If they aren’t getting medical it because by the time they do our health care system will be single-payer health insurance. I hope it comes to a lot sooner because as you say not only is it bleeding companies and state funds it hitting the pockets of the individuals what they have to contribute to off-set the cost.

        I will have to guess Biden’s by in Medical Care health care plan option will be a forgone conclusion consider they (“Dem’s”) control all three branches of government and Governments, and are not going to pay private insurance to cover government employees with taxpayers money. So the health care plan should be reasonable/decent.

        To be fair to a comrade, Rich, If he just doesn’t understand what Jo tried to explain. It because Jo is not explaining too clearly. I can’t see officers leaving after they get certified to be the major reason and I can only assume Jo capitalize ONLY to suggest otherwise. If so why bother, it was of the sentence. However, if they are about to leave in such a short time after being hired in the Port it’s a contract issue, and those agreeing with it.

        P.S simple logic, why would other town hire substandard officers who can’t pass their own training certificate training, or/and wait to Porcher certificate officers to save money on the certificate, Then in a contract the town should reimburse the city of the money is spent on the certificate.

        Jo at any rate Jo, Rich, and comrade are correct OIP. Her plan is to, clearly, more officer is needed and have to be retained. Jo you mean the city will not act on her plan, and Rich they need to account for retirement as well as understaffed.

        Well, will you look at that, a trifecta of winners. So proud of you 🙂

        1. It’s because
          a lot soon
          It’s hitting
          Medicare health plan
          government is not going
          it’s because
          it to clearly
          it spent
          why bother making the statement
          add more officers that are needed

          (note to self reread before you let it fly) 🙂 Lose in

          P.s cool song

  1. This falls at the feet of Joe & Mario,they were so concerned on making sure an unqualified friend became chief,so they had someone who they could control and didn’t ask questions,they sacrificed the entire force for their own selfish desire..FACT.

  2. Pull-ese.
    The paper said that Ganim will not allow her to be interviewed. Really?
    And she just sits there, takes the pay check and smiles.
    That says it all.

  3. Wait a minute. This just in.
    The BPD is going to initiate another gun buyback program.
    Repeat Bport is going to initiate another gun buyback program.
    Well that will save the city.

    1. You mean they are going to buy the guns from people who bought them from the police department?!! Because that’s what buy back means. Lol.
      Anyway I’m sure that any guns that are purchased ‘back’ would be coming from the hardened criminals!!!!!!

  4. Joe won’t let the acting chief,any dept head,or anyone in his inner circle talk to the media,they might slip and say something Joe wants kept quiet.Everything is this admins is a secret.He lets members of the council talk though,no worries there,they are kept out of the loop too.

  5. Bob, Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia just need to do her job, develop a plan and let the mayor and the City Council rejected plan. As for those terrorist who took over the Captial building on Jan. 6th it looks like the Capital Police has defund their department because those police officers must be under the orders of social workers because back on June 2nd during the Black Lives Matter march there were so many different armed goverment police, military groups with pepper spray, tear gas, tanks, helicopters to control a peace march.

  6. The plan has to be regional police departments with standard salaries and benefits and get rid of the local top layers of management that is duplicative and wastes millions of dollars every year in this small state.

    We don’t need 150+ police chiefs and departments in Connecticut. Regional departments funded by state tax dollars and get rid of much of the corruption in hiring as we saw with the deposed chief.

    No one will jump ship for the suburbs when the pay is the same and any officer could be assigned a shift in any sector in the region.

    1. Marshall Marcus, that’s a very tricky on for a number reasons, small towns and cities have different needs and different training for their town and city. Gangs, drugs, illegal gambling, assignments, transfers, promotions, hiring, diversity are just few items.

      1. @Ron
        Non of those differences matter. If we have regional (county) police departments, the officers are to be trained for all of those situations and rotate through all geographic areas as needed.

        Do you really think Bridgeport’s gang and drug problems stop at the Trumbull and Fairfield borders? They spill right over as evidenced by the many arrests of Bridgeport residents who have crossed town line fleeing Bridgeport police, or to commit crimes in Trumbull or Fairfield (especially at the mall, or ransacking cars in the southern part of town).

        1. Marshall Marcus, really, the drug rehabs are in Bridgeport, you have those live in the suburbs who come to Bridgeport to buy drugs and not the other way, where are the high-rise public housing in the suburbs, where are the police walking the high crime areas?

          1. There are plenty of drugs sold in the suburbs and plenty of high priced drug rehab in private institutions. There shouldn’t be any high rise public housing, it;s a failed thing being knocked down, project by project.
            Police walking beats could be in effect with regional forces, look at how many dollars would be saved with elimination of all those chiefs, and duplicative office functions.

            Basic economy of scale, we don’t need all these petty fiefdoms and local patronage positions. We need officers on the street, who can;t jump to the suburbs after two years, because they already are on the regional force being paid the same with same benefits.

            BTW>>>I also support other regional government, lets start with libraries.

          2. Marshall, don’t you own a high-rise, maybe it’s not the high-rise structure, more than the word public. Which the Port and other urban cities have to deal with more than suburbia, like the police. However, Public “high-rise housing has failed, unlike your’s family high-rise housing. Maybe you and your family can run the Port’s public housing and turn around those high-rises? if it so easy with that liberal mind living in the age of Aquarius.

            BAM! I am out of here. Peace out people. 🙂


          3. P.S I suggest having a strong presence of video surveillance security system throughout the high-rise complex. That will definitely help to reduce crime. However, can you imagine safe and peaceful public hosings? People would want to move out of your high rise place and into them. J.S

        2. Marshall, that ridiculous. Do you really think Trumbull and Fairfield officers deal with Brigpeport’s gang in the drug problem on a daily basis or rent in living cost the same in Bridgeport then in Westport? Liberal minds. Let me know when you start calling to cancel the rent. oh wait, I’ll wait.

          If anything as regionalizes standard benefits, vacation, sick day, health, etc. If it’s just about the loss of money from other towns poaching cops that the city paid to train. Those too should be regionalized and paid by the state for every officer who gets certified for the state.

          I will give you small towns that could be combined, however, it seems not to be an issue with them or a Port problem.

          I will still stand by my claim overtime should be a cap. Every year Lennie posts how cops some just patrol officers make more than the mayor, some to the tune of $100,000 or more. Think about that.

          The issue here is governance, so I am sure it’s 45’s fault. right comrades. 🙂

  7. I talked to two friends in the police department, one retired and one currently working and both said during their tenure practically all that moved to other departments were from suburban cities, Not Bridgeport. So the answer is clear to me, hire Bridgeport residents, you’ll keep tax dollars in Bridgeport as well as the police officers that you pay to train. A Win, Win!

    1. Don, this is one topic that the City Council needs to act on because it’s a win, win, it’s a jobs programs for Bridgeport residents and the city is hiring its own taxpaying voters who will be paying taxes in the City and shopping in the City where they have a sense of pride instead of just traveling to Bridgeport to get a paycheck and spend in their town. Don, we know that Mayor Ganim and Mario Testa don’t want police and firefighters being hired from the city because that will cut out money from the suburbs from those potitical donors to the DTC and Ganim’s campaign runs for office who want their family member to get hired to work in Bridgeport.

    2. I know one former police officer who still lives in Bridgeport. He applied for an opening with the Greenwich PD and left the BPD upon accepting the Greenwich job.

  8. Marshall,
    We are a small state. Why would you recommend regionalization.
    Why not have one library department for the state of Connecticut? Actually you do since it why library card fits all.
    One librarian to run the entire state. Cut out a lot of duplication of efforts.
    Same with the police departments. You already have one. It’s called the State Police. Expand it and eliminate all off the local police departments.
    Why go half way when you can go all the way?
    What say you?


Leave a Reply