Ganim Announces Timeline, Forums For Police Chief Search

News release from Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Ganim confirmed today that preparations for the nomination of a Police Chief have begun. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (the IACP) is working with the Office of the Civil Service Commission and Personnel Director Eric M. Amado to arrange survey and meetings with various organization and community stakeholders, who will provide input on the characteristics and traits being sought for in a Police Chief. Surveyed groups and meeting participants will include municipal employees, emergency and public safety representatives, City Council persons, Bridgeport Police Commission, and community organizations. In addition, our community engagement efforts will be expanded through the hosting of two community forums; allowing city residents the opportunity to share their ideas regarding this process.

The timeline for the police chief search process:

May 27: Community Survey available to the public (open for 10 days). Links to access the survey are on the city website at

June 2: Community Forum at Central High School 6pm – open to all City residents

June 3: Community Forum at Mertens Auditorium on the former University of Bridgeport Campus 1pm – open to City residents

June 13: Application process for candidates begins (open for 4 weeks)

August 1 to August 5: Assessment Center for finalist candidates

September 16: Presentation of three finalists to the Mayor

In addition to the recommendations of the community, the IACP will evaluate all candidates to ensure that they meet the basic minimum requirements. Desirable credentials are developed based on information acquired during the job analysis. Applicants that do not match the minimum requirements will not be considered. An examination will be conducted for those candidates that meet minimum qualifications to rank and score their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

There will be two rounds of exercises after the desired number of qualifying applications have been received. Applicants who pass the initial screening for minimum qualifications go to the next round of screening and evaluation. Semi-finalists from screening and evaluation advance to a structured exercise phase. The Civil Service Commission certifies the finalists’ ranking on a list based on composite scores from the structured exercise.

The three finalists will be offered to Mayor Ganim in the final phase of the process. Once a final decision is reached, the Mayor will notify the Civil Service Commission and the Board of Police Commissioners of the appointment.

“When it comes to appointing a new Chief of Police, our community is the most essential stakeholder. Bridgeport residents want an open and equitable process, and they encourage community input,” stated Mayor Ganim. “This administration is looking for a Chief of Police who values public safety as a priority and views their employment as an opportunity to improve the quality of life for all residents and sees our community members as partners to be aided.”

More information, including the links to the community survey, as well as background on the Forums, may be found on the City’s website at



    1. Thank you Mayor, I’m sure that our teachers and School Children will sleep well tonight, knowing that we will have a real Chief of Police and not one of your political acting hacks.

  1. The City of Bridgeport Police Department has a very long history of federal lawsuits against the city to the point that the federal court assign a “Special Master” to monitor the running and testing of the BPD. Are we to believe that those issues have been address? What is the track record of The International Association of Chiefs of Police (the IACP) in giving exams that has the type of make-up of Bridgeport?

  2. Personnel Director Eric M. Amado. Ron Mackey, notice that the word ‘acting’ is nowhere to be found. Don’t be mad just because his skin is not dark brown.

  3. Federal Judge’s Ruling Frees City From ‘Special Master’ Provision

    BRIDGEPORT, CT (March 13, 2009) – In a ruling released Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Janet B. Arterton freed the City’s police department from its more than 25-year federal court oversight. The substance of her ruling is reviewable after 18 months, but in September 2010, the ruling to abolish the ‘special master’ will become final.

    Mayor Bill Finch called the decision a “historic moment for the City, and validation of the continuing pattern of fairness toward every officer, regardless of gender or color.”

    “When I took office in December 2007, I made the resolution of the Guardians case a top priority. It is my belief that racism has no place in Bridgeport, and especially not in the Bridgeport Police Department,” said Finch.

    “This is tremendous news for the City. This ruling says the court has recognized that the racism that was present in the Bridgeport Police Department in the 1970s is indeed, a thing of the past. Now, we will be able to control our own police department, a move that will help us fight crime more effectively, while simultaneously saving the money the city has been paying the special master since 1983,” Finch continued. “We will continue our efforts to make sure that all Bridgeport police officers are treated fairly and evenly.”

    The case began in the late 1970s, when the Guardians, a Bridgeport black police officers’ association, filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that black and Hispanic officers were consistently overlooked for promotions, and were routinely given the worst duty assignments. Following a trial in federal court that ended in late 1982, the late Judge T.F. Gilroy Daly ordered the appointment of a “special master” to oversee all complaints of racial harassment and discrimination in the Bridgeport Police Department.

    Under the system mandated by Judge Daly in 1983, a “rotation order” was put into place requiring all Bridgeport police patrol officers to change their duty assignments every two years. Both Mayor Finch and former Bridgeport Police Chief Bryan Norwood argued during a hearing in early August 2008, that this rotation program prevented the implementation of community policing, which calls for officers to be assigned to specific neighborhoods in order to build relationships with the local residents, and gain their trust in an effort to more effectively fight crime.

    “This ruling will allow our officers to serve the community at the neighborhood level by letting them forge relationships with the residents they protect,” said Acting Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr.

    The present leadership of the Bridgeport Police Department is thoroughly integrated by race and gender. Over the last decade, Bridgeport has had two African-American police chiefs, an Hispanic Acting Chief, and the leadership of the Office of Internal Affairs, the ning Division, Professional Standards division, as well as the position of Deputy Chief, have all been capably filled by minority officers. At present, the department is one of the most diverse departments in the state.

    “We will now have a stronger arsenal with which to fight crime,” Finch said. “We will be able to assign police personnel where the Chief feels they need to be. This will allow us to implement community policing in its truest form.”

  4. Does anyone else find the words of Mayor Finch and Chief Gaudett so simple and yet totally divergent from the “public safety history” we have viewed, experienced, and paid for?
    “Community policing” – but not while we are understaffed, or so goes the reasoning. Diversity in the ranks, at least a smattering, but nowhere close to the diversity in the community? Evidence that “white supremacy” attitudes, attempts at racial humor, and gripes about duty served with those of color were common have shown up in court case evidence for all to see. Why no comment from the Ganim2 about his failed leadership team?
    And how are the various legal cases currently in the courts faring? Where does the City stand at risk if their side loses? And how much are out of town lawyers receiving from Bridgeport taxpayers to defend the City leaders in decisions made in the past? Lennie, any brief tally of such prominent cases that will trickle or stream down into our future and still cost today, with no one explaining the reasoning? Time will tell.


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