Former Police Chief Chapman Returns To Overtime, Staffing Challenges

Chapman, Ganim
Wilbur Chapman, left, with Joe Ganim. CT Post photo Ned Gerard.

Struggling with health issues and a long commute to the city, former Police Chief Wilbur Chapman who serves as a public safety consultant has resurfaced following a lengthy non-paid absence. Mayor Joe Ganim hired Chapman in December 2015 to serve as police department hatchet man and reel in overtime that’s gotten out of control once again. Chapman was chief at the end of Ganim’s first tenure as mayor.

Ganim has three chiefs, current and past, on the payroll. Fulfilling a campaign promise to police union members who wanted him out, Ganim found a new role for former Chief Joe Gaudett who received a last-minute five-year appointment from outgoing Mayor Bill Finch whom Ganim defeated in a 2015 primary.

The move was seen largely as Finch, who had his differences with Gaudett, sticking it to Ganim, rather than allowing Ganim his own choice. Avoiding an expensive buyout, Ganim carved out a consulting role for Gaudett in the Emergency Operations Center. That move allowed Ganim to appoint long-time friend AJ Perez the new chief.

Joe Gaudett
Joe Gaudett, in 2016, went from chief to consultant.

Ganim wants the harder-edged Chapman around to deal with messy personnel and overtime issues anathema to the genial Perez. It’s a classic Ganim good cop, bad cop management style. But when you add it all up, salary, benefits, consulting fees, city taxpayers are covering about $400,000 a year for past and current chiefs. Prudent or expensive?

Meanwhile, a number of police officers assert privately, which may become public, their due overtime pay is tardy. Is this because of city cash flow issues or management trying to spread out payments to lessen the perception of overtime bloating?

From CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart:

With the latest struggle to control police overtime coming to a head, the man the mayor counted on to help keep it in check is back at work after a lengthy absence.

>Ex-Police Chief  Wilbur Chapman, who has been out of the office since late summer for an undisclosed medical issue, is back serving as the mayor’s public safety adviser.

“The mayor is very happy to have former chief Chapman’s experience and expertise and is glad Mr. Chapman is well enough to resume work in Bridgeport,” Av Harris, Mayor Joe Ganim’s  spokesman, said Monday.

Full story here.



  1. If the city means to get serious about reducing overtime, they can start with jobs like this. I do not know what value Mr. Chapman brings to the department. The chief has captains and deputy chiefs and other minions. You mean to tell me not one of them can do what Mr. Chapman does and a lot cheaper too?

    I am sure these folks have a nice perk like a car they can take home. Add their car to the fleet, they make enough money and can afford their own car and gas too.

    If they can’t advise the chief they should go too. What is their function and can someone of a lesser rank do their job? The chief works here too, he can ask a street cop or a front-line supervisor what he or she needs. Hell, ask the citizens what they need, after all they live here!!!

    I am sure there are some union issues to work out but can’t these positions be eliminated and their salaries used to hire more street cops? I am going out on a limb and say some of these officers are getting “a little long in the tooth.” It seems there are way too many ranking Officers and far too few cops who work in a police car.

    It’s time to make some serious decisions about these positions and do more with less. Other departments have had to do it.

    This is all about business, not a popularity contest. The right decision might not be so well received but that’s how it goes. After 146 years the circus has ended.

    The citizens of Bridgeport deserve so much better than they are getting. If these ranking officer’s homes were bleeding cash you can bet they would find a way to stop it, but I guess it’s easier to spend someone else’s money.

  2. Joe Ganim and his advisors are wrong if they think the mayor can appoint the police chief. Does the mayor think because AJ Perez drove him around to some of his clandestine meetings he deserves to be chief? Well that is not what civil service rules state.
    Let’s talk about Chapman and OT. In addition to Chapman whom we pay $6,000 a month, we have three deputy chiefs whom we pay almost $500K a year to do nothing significant except take up space and fatten their pensions.
    Ganim is doing nothing to straighten out the goings-on in the PD, in fact one of his advisors is still on the police commission which is nothing more than the mayor’s bobblehead dolls. BTW the president of the civil service commission lives in Trumbull.

  3. Andy. You hit the nail on head about the deputy chiefs. One provides a service to the patrol division and is very good. Another is almost invisible and is never seen. His only claim to fame is telling everyone he was an acting chief. A third is a boob who quietly soaks up overtime at meetings with former convicts at an enormous cost to the taxpayer. The fourth’s only job is to make sure the internet works. He’s the most overpaid IT guy in the city. Check the top earners for 2016. I’m sure you’ll find them listed there.


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