Coughlin To Handle Public Safety Communications Duties

With public safety a key city issue in recent weeks from police staffing levels to neighborhood crime, a communications aide in the mayor’s office has been named a temporary, part-time public information officer, according to Communications Director Brett Broesder. Kevin Coughlin replaces Bill Kaempffer who is currently on leave due to a medical issue.

Kaempffer, a former journalist, had served as a responsive face and voice of the police and fire departments sharing the good, bad and ugly of public safety stories. He made himself available day and night to media requests providing reliable information.

His leave left a void at a time public safety has become a front burner issue governmentally and politically in this mayoral campaign cycle.

Coughlin joined Bridgeport’s communications team in May of this year to help assist with public information duties, according to Broesder.

“He’s filling a tough role, but after working with Kevin, I believe he’s up for the job of ensuring the press continues getting the information they need regarding public safety,” said Police Chief Joe Gaudett in a statement.

Coughlin will serve as a primary media contact for issues in the state’s largest city surrounding police, fire, and emergency management, according to Broesder.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with Kevin to get information about the Fire Department out to the public, and have been encouraged by what we’ve seen of his work to date,” said Fire Chief Brian Rooney in a statement.

Coughlin’s background includes working closely with former Norwalk Police Chief and current Mayor Harry Rilling. He also has an extensive background in communications and policy work.

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11 comments

  1. Kevin Coughlin seems like a perfect candidate. Good luck!

    Side bar: Puerto Rico is about to default for the first time in their history. This will have devastating effects on the entire island, especially those in remote areas who do not benefit from tourism. My thoughts go out to the huge Puerto Rican community of the Park City and the friends and family on the island.

    I am sure channel 12 news is looking for Ganim to make a comment.
    It is sad and tragic. Was this expected? I wonder if Bridgeporters are even aware of this current situation.

  2. How many people are on the communication team? Why do we have all these people who speak for the Fire Chief the police Chief and the mayor? Are they all stupid and can’t put sentences together? What is the total we are paying these Charlie McCarthy characters?

  3. The Police Chief should be the spokesman for the department. All these PR people are just expensive cover for the responsible faces who want to avoid facing the public.

    Get out in front of things, Chief Gaudett. Let Mr. Coughlin go to work keeping track of all the cold and cooling cases on the BPD docket.

    How about an update on the near-fatal home invasion in Lake Forest that happened in June?!

    Let Mr. Coughlin dig up some news on that, then you can be a real Chief and share it with the people of Lake Forest and the rest of the city (if the Mayor will let you). Your mentor Chief Sweeney would never let City Hall intimidate him.

  4. You will never hear the fire chief speak, the only time he speaks is at a promotion or awards or when the Mayor wants to do a photo op about smoke detectors but outside of those setting the fire chief is a ghost, out of sight, out of mind.

  5. More like a pariah, who hasn’t lived in the City in more than 18 years. And has zero connection or stake in the Bridgeport Community, other than taking a paycheck and getting two retirement checks. According to three independent investigative reports, all pointed the finger at Rooney for failures in leadership and accountability in the deaths of Lt. Vazquez and FF Baik. What did Finch Boy do? Nothing! Did the city council even hold hearings after the deaths and go over the findings? No! They all swept the deaths under the rug.

    1. There is more to the deaths of these two heroes. You making these charges are purely personnel and have no basis in fact. I don’t think you want to reopen this.

  6. Don’t be fooled. This spokesperson is simply a campaign worker being illegally compensated on the taxpayer’s dime. Look at his experience. It has absolutely nothing to do with public safety. It has everything to do with political campaigns.

  7. blog.ctnews.com/connecticutpostings/2015/06/16/finchs-office-augments-communications-team/

    Finch’s office augments communications team
    Posted on June 16, 2015 | By Brian Lockhart

    Messaging has become a bigger priority for Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch as he juggles running Connecticut’s largest city with running for a third term.

    First the administration last year hired Brett Broesder, a communications director who, unlike his predecessor, had more of a political background.

    Then Broesder helped launch a $250,000, tax-payer funded advertising campaign to market the city. Finch wasn’t featured, but it never hurts a municipal chief executive to have a city’s marketing machine humming as they enter an election year.

    Though sometimes those lines between marketing the city and campaigning can get muddied…

    So for anyone keeping score of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, there’s a new flack in town on, according to Finch’s office, a temporary, part-time basis–Kevin Coughlin.

    According to his online LinkedIn profile, Coughlin also has a political pedigree, which, again, can’t hurt in an election year.

    He recently worked for New Haven-based DNA Campaigns and, before that, managed New Haven state Sen. Gary Winfield’s campaign, as well as Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling’s campaign.

    According to Broesder, Coughlin has since early May been filling in for a member of the city’s three-person communications team who has been working a limited shift because of a medical issue.

    “He has an impressive background and was looking to get direct government communications experience, and thankfully we were able to offer that,” Broesder said. “He’s backfilling other responsibilities, working on a number of press issues, including economic development, public facilities, emergency management, mayoral initiatives, sustainability and parks.”

    Coughlin’s listened in on some phone calls with reporters and has also been hovering at mayoral events.

    He will be allowed to operate on his own once he cannot finish a sentence without adding, “Bridgeport is getting better every day.”

    Broesder said Coughlin has so far earned $4,711.50.

    More of his LinkedIn profile is below:

    Director of Accounts, Consultant
    DNA Campaigns
    April 2014 – March 2015 (1 year)New Haven, CT

    Campaign Manager
    Gary for Senate
    January 2014 – February 2014 (2 months)New Haven, CT

    Campaign Manager for Gary Holder-Winfield’s campaign for State Senate

    Campaign Manager
    Rilling for Mayor
    August 2013 – November 2013 (4 months)Norwalk, Connecticut

    Campaign Manager for Harry Rilling’s campaign for Mayor of Norwalk, CT

    Director of State Initiatives
    Students For Education Reform
    November 2012 – August 2013 (10 months)CT

    Connecticut Program Director
    Students For Education Reform
    October 2011 – November 2012 (1 year 2 months)New Haven, CT

    Teacher
    New York City Department of Education
    September 2009 – August 2011 (2 years)

    2009 Corps Member
    Teach for America
    September 2009 – August 2011 (2 years)

    Deputy Field Director
    Maloney for Congress
    June 2010 – September 2010 (4 months)

    Congressional Intern
    Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
    May 2007 – June 2007 (2 months)

  8. Thanks to the Connecticut Post, the Finch administration has been shamed into releasing public records.

    Personally I think the Bridgeport mayoral contest should be covered by Marvel Comics Universe. All the primary players are similar to comic book characters: Bird Man! G.I. Ganim! The Merry Sea Crest! Adam the Wood!

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