Ganim Promises To Hire 100 Cops, Finch Campaign: Investments In Public Safety Doubled

As a 31-year-old candidate for mayor in 1991, Joe Ganim pledged to hire 100 police officers in his first term with crime a major issue. Now on the comeback trail at age 55 with crime a central theme of his campaign, he’s promising to do the same, if elected, in a letter to supporter police officer Chuck Paris, head of the police union, who helped line up the endorsement for Ganim a few weeks ago.

History is repeating itself on some level for Ganim with police staffing levels once again an issue. A taxpayer price tag comes with hiring 100 cops measured against the spin of a political campaign.

Mayor Bill Finch’s Campaign Manager Maryli Secrest responds that Finch “has doubled investments in public safety and, as a result, crime has dropped swiftly and sharply.”

Finch and Police Chief Joe Gaudett recently announced a goal to hire, train and deploy more than 100 police officers in the next two years.

Ganim, leveraging police union support, wrote the following letter to Paris after a Connecticut Post article chronicling public safety shortages in the police department.

In light of the recent Connecticut Post article, I am writing to you with the request that you forward this letter to your membership.

While I wholeheartedly respect the decisions of our city’s officers to step away from the police force for personal reasons, the recent string of retirements and the devastatingly low number of active duty officers is alarming.

I am urging you and the members of the Bridgeport Police Department to be rest assured that the failures in our current leadership will not carry over into my administration when I am elected Mayor. I fully intend to partner with officers again to reinvigorate, re-energize and reinforce our dedication to the safety of all Bridgeport residents.

When elected Mayor, I will move swiftly to authorize the following:
• Hire 100 new officers, with the goal of having close to 500 officers
• Secure new equipment and provide more training
• Reinstate community policing
• Open and reopen substations
• Properly man Narcotics, VICE and Traffic divisions
• Press the Housing Authority to fund their own authority police, or ask them to fund Bridgeport Police Officers for dedicated assignment throughout the city
• Work with the department to bolster the relationship between the police and the communities they serve

I truly appreciate and respect the years our city’s officers have dedicated to protect and serve Bridgeport residents, and the public in general. I look forward to an improved working relationship between the Mayor’s office and the department.

Statement from Finch Campaign Manager Maryli Secrest:

“If Joe Ganim hadn’t cost the city more than $100 million dollars in a pension kickback scheme we might have more money to deal with crime. Despite the difficult situation Ganim put the city in, Mayor Finch has doubled investments in public safety and, as a result, crime has dropped swiftly and sharply.”



  1. It’s all about Steelpointe, not police and Fleeta Hudson.

    Hector Diaz, I understand the interest at the DTC. These people are not stupid and they are fully aware of what is at stake.

    I was speaking to a teacher who was concerned about Finch’s relationship with Malloy and that is why she is supporting Ganim.
    The truth, the Mayor having a strong relationship with the Governor is a bad thing? Didn’t Governor Weicker save the city from bankruptcy? We are grateful for Governor Malloy’s generosity to the city that got him elected. Ganim will not have that respect.

  2. Can’t wait for Finch’s response to this one. I pledge to hire 200 cops if i get re-elected. Lmao. Finch … Always two steps behind Ganim’s ideas.

    By the way did anyone read the CT Post article on the abrupt resigning of Officer Higgins from the Bridgeport PD.
    Could it be he wrote the racist letters himself? I’m just saying!!!

  3. Expect Finch to come out today with the announcement he intends to hire 101 new cops, and will say he was planning this announcement for today for weeks, it has nothing to do with Ganim’s ideas.

  4. These politicians, both Ganim and Finch, are full of shit. They are going to have to hire cops whether they want to or not. Finch is at fault for the manpower shortage, it did not happen overnight. Ganim will say anything at this time in the race, personally he is full of it. The Police union can get on the blame wagon along with Gaudett and Finch for this shortage, the union said nothing about the shortage because their people were feathering their pensions with OT. The Police union made this job more unattractive than it already is. They gave back unlimited sick leave, any portion of paid medical and other benefits. I hate to see the PD become a political issue but Finch and GANIM made it one.

    1. Right on, Andy. Budget Oversight Bridgeport has noted for years the small number of people in the fully staffed department available for patrol. As retirements have steadily cut total numbers in the PD and overtime has increased, Joe Ganim raises the ante? How does the public trust what is an accurate, effective and efficient number of officers ready to serve the public? If the Police Department already commands $90 Million of City operating budget annually according to Mayor Finch’s most recent proposed budget, what is the cost of any of these proposals? The public is fed up with “sound bite management” and half truths (maybe? wink-wink).

      Maryli Secrest, what do you mean by “$100 million dollars in a pension kickback scheme?” Are you talking about 15 years ago, when the pay as you go method of funding public safety pensions was replaced with $350 Million of funding with a Pension Obligation Bond? Ganim was mayor. Finch was on the Council. Was Stafstrom council for the bond issue? The money went into the pot but investments increase and decrease as markets do, and there were two major cycles in the past 15 years that lost money for this fund. But that is a natural risk for investment funds of all kinds. So where is the “kickback” that cost $100 Million? I don’t trust your statement. So verify it is the truth, please. Time will tell.

  5. Mayor Bill Finch’s Campaign Manager Maryli Secrest responds that Finch “has doubled investments in public safety and, as a result, crime has dropped swiftly and sharply.”
    WHAT??? Who is she and he kidding?
    Put the pencil to the paper and back up this claim or DO NOT make it again.

    1. That one made me laugh, hard: Mayor Bill Finch’s Campaign Manager Maryli Secrest responds Finch “has doubled investments in public safety and, as a result, crime has dropped swiftly and sharply.” Give us another laugh, dear. Violent crime has spiked 152% since last year. The Finch campaign says one thing, the dead and wounded speak otherwise.

      Ganim may not be everyone’s choice for mayor. At this point the choice is “ANYONE BUT FINCH.”

  6. Pull over and throw the bum off the bus. While away from Bridgeport, Joe Ganim learned how to bend the rules without breaking the law. That changed when he started opening police substations. Some people think he’s violated The Hatch Act of 1939 and has disqualified himself from running for mayor.

  7. I have just talked with someone on the issue of police manning. We have been funding a police department with 100% of their authorized strength. We have not had the police department at 100% for years. Let’s use the number we have on the job now plus the new class and make that the new TO for the police department. Let’s move the capable officers outside who are now inside.
    Pass or rescind the ordinance that makes it mandatory for contractors doing road work to hire off-duty cops for traffic duty. The state and many other communities use construction people to do this work at considerably less money, in fact there are class that teach flag and traffic work. Why am I paying a cop’s pension that includes all of his outside work? To both Joe Ganim and Bill Finch, enough of what you claim you will do for public safety because you and I know it’s bullshit. There are a lot of other things this city needs, why aren’t you talking about the other things?

  8. Andy, are you saying manning all the construction sites and road cuts is work that can be accomplished by newly trained and specialized workers from the City who do not currently have jobs? At probably a lesser expense than the External Overtime program costs but still at a living and respectable wage? That the public can be just as safe? That the Police Department may require a smaller number in their Table of Organization? And this was all done by Ordinance originally, and then put in contracts, that get changed over time with negotiation? And this does not affect internal overtime, just the duty where construction is ongoing? Wow. Fardy for Mayor. What do you think? Time will tell.

    1. JML, the City and the union know they can change that policy but they won’t because that’s a nice bone for their overtime, why give away that money to somebody else who needs a job, let’s keep it to ourselves.

      1. The mayor and the council can change that policy. If it’s in the PG contract, no problem. Eliminate the ordinance and leave the outside provision in the contract and it becomes a paper tiger.

  9. John, I did not look at it from that point of view but yes that could be accomplished. I have a question. Can a police officer turn down PD overtime in favor of outside OT? Yes I know the PD overtime pays more. The question is would you rather guard a hole in the road for 8 hours with no hassles and people to talk to or would you rather make a little more money and answer a bunch of calls and deal with a lot of BS. That is an easy call, outside OT.

    1. Andy, back in the late 1990s when I was on the negotiating team for the firefighters we would bring up the subject of outside overtime and why does the police have the type of deal they have but firefighters is really nothing compare to the police, well they never would give us an answer.

    2. Andy,
      Has a “hole in the ground,” especially one guarded by one of Bridgeport’s finest, ever drawn a weapon on an officer on OT duty? Why does this relatively hassle-less OT pay more (if it does) than regular OT? Has anyone discovered what risk the City faces relative to the large OT increases will trigger in pensions to be paid by the State? Will the State look for more money from Bridgeport taxpayers for the OT that will require more funds in the State plan? Time will tell.

      1. JML, back some time ago police and firefighters in Bridgeport were some of the lowest paid in the state so outside overtime was the answer for the police.

      2. John, outside OT pays slightly less than regular OT. No hole in the road ever shot a cop, hit a cop or in any other way hurt a cop. The hole in the roadway usually furnished coffee and conversation.

  10. You know Finch owns Police Chief Joe Gaudett and Fire Chief Brian Rooney. He let them retire and paid them their pension and then let them sign their contact which paid them a total of over $200,000 a year. This made them the highest paid chiefs in the State.


Leave a Reply