Ganim’s Critical Wakeup Call To Address Violent Crime

Ganim Trumbull Gardens fence
Two years ago Ganim fixed a fence at Trumbull Gardens. Can he fix the parking meters?

On the 2015 campaign trail, candidate Joe Ganim opened his own police substation, a symbolic gesture in response to a spike in violent crime and a stick in the eye to incumbent Mayor Bill Finch whose perceived inaction with an understaffed police force benefited Ganim’s playbook. There was a hole in the fence at a city housing project. Ganim fixed it. Savvy public relations. Campaigning and governing, however, are different animals. Now the shoe’s on the other foot and Ganim has to show he’s doing something for fear of a blistering shoeless Joe labeling.

With homicides nearly doubled this year from 2016, Ganim and Police Chief Armando Perez announced on Tuesday they will “team up with the City Council” to tour the seven city police substations located in several neighborhoods including three housing projects. They are also “reviewing options” to add substations on the East Side and The Hollow.

The substations represent one of the various components to address increased public safety, community policing and police presence, according to a news release.

“All of these things, the added police officers from our most recent graduating class, the substations throughout the city, the added commitment from our Police Chief for greater police presence, and higher visibility, it’s all positive,” said Ganim in a statement. “We will do anything we can do to deter any violent or non-violent criminal act, and to ensure that our residents feel safe.”

It also takes more money at a time police overtime has been an issue.

Combining relentless retail campaigning prioritizing public safety and taxes, Ganim’s second-chance message in 2015 hit home particularly with black voters who trekked to the polls in municipal numbers not seen in decades. Ganim ran up 100-vote pluralities at Dunbar, Hooker, Wilbur Cross and Hallen to counter Finch’s modest precinct wins. Ganim won the primary on his way to a convincing general election win.

Violent crime can often take on a life of its own in a streaky way that becomes poisonous for a pol.

How a mayor responds does matter. Finch was stubbornly prone to citing lower crimes rates in the face of violent outbursts. Not exactly what crime victims and neighbors concerned about events want to hear. Finch’s gaffes benefited Ganim. Finch is gone and now it’s Ganim’s turn to provide some confidence to his base that he hasn’t checked out on them.

This is a crucial time for Ganim in both how he’s perceived by city voters and those watching the state’s largest city from the outside as Ganim embarks on a long-shot run for governor that even has some supporters shaking their heads.

If he can’t fix the parking meters, how’s he gonna fix the state? It’s a question people are asking. Throw in questions about the mayor’s response to violent crime, now it hits home in and out of the city. You don’t want a segue from shoeless to clueless Joe.

Ganim was publicly successful his first tenure as mayor because he was viewed as taming the dragon, keeping a lid on things, reducing violent crime while keeping taxes down. He also had the horses to drag the wagon out of the mud. Does he now?



  1. Hey Lennie, I got a few calls from OIB friends who told me you called me shoeless Joel. You gotta problem with me? Call me!

    I read the article and I think some OIB readers are trying to instigate a beef between us. If I hear anyone calling Joe Ganim shoeless Joe, I’ll correct him or her. I’ll suggest Taxbilless Joe. Am I the only one who hasn’t received a tax bill yet?

    Lennie, after I pay the taxes, I think you can go ahead and call me and many of us “shoeless”.

  2. Neither major political party can say much about “fixing” Bridgeport. The Democratic Town Committee in Bridgeport bears no resemblance to the national or state party. The GOP Here is moribund.

    As for Joe Ganim doing anything about crime, well…

  3. I don’t know Mr. Brown, as a long time Democrat that voted in his 1st election 49 years ago I don’t any difference in the Bridgeport DTC or the State and National Democratic party. Does either entity not take the Black vote for granted? I think they are all the same book just different chapters.

    1. Day it can go either way. Do the Democrats take the black vote for granted or do the blacks take their own vote for granted. Since they vote Democrat 95% of the time. We will never really know. But one thing is for sure the Democrats are the ones blacks vote to better their lives.

      1. The black vote went Clintons way resoundingly. If they had supported Bernie I don’t think we would have Trump with the gasoline on the fire technique of promoting hatred and violence. This is a factor in Bridgeport crime, no doubt

    2. Donald,
      The Bridgeport DTC is a corrupt political machine similar to those that ran Chicago and New York City in the last century. It’s all about power and privilege and political patronage. Ganim trimmed some fat from the budget but made no effort to reduce a municipal payroll bloated with political favoritism.

      Joe Ganim didn’t take the black vote for granted. He conned the community into believing he was the man to clean up Dodge City. 19 homicides this year and it is only July. Now there’s a fire burning at the AGI rubber plant, sending toxic smoke and fumes into the air. Way to go. The building’s owners received a tax abatement years ago and are under no enforceable obligation to clean up the property. Way to go, Joe.

  4. I have written about two things in the main for years on OIB. One of the things is money, particularly the way those who make decisions keep them masked to the taxpayers, and the other are the governance values including Open, Accountable, Transparent and Honest.

    It is very interesting that Mayor Ganim is often accompanied by City Council members, City legislators who have very little to do with the Police Department functions of “serve and protect”. Where are the civilians who make up the Police Commission who would seem to be those who should know the most about the way the Department functions. Even when he was in the room last Thursday, the Mayor ignored the presence of the Chair of that Commission, assuming that Dan Roach still holds that distinction. What is going on with a group with many expiries, no word to the public about what is happening, and no recognition by the Mayor who appoints and removes? In the words of Senator Ben Sass, addressing a different subject, “inextricably bizarre”. Time will tell.


  6. A girl in Winthrop school was awarded $60 K from the court because the principal failed to protect the girl and she was abused a second time by the same person. Here is what that little shit who is called our city attorney said.”City Attorney R. Christopher Meyer said the judge’s award was significantly less than the plaintiffs had been seeking but “Was rather generous given the minor nature of the battery alleged and the scarce evidence offered to support any real injury.”” Is he kidding me or what calling a sexual assault minor battery.
    The point of all this is that th Ganim administration feels this way about all crimes

    1. Andy, C’MON MAN, how could those things happen in the 138th district with Maria Pereira as the district leader of the 138th? According to Maria she is the mayor of the 138 and she has the power to get things done, so Andy you must be wrong. I know Maria stepped up to correct those problems, right Andy?

      1. Ron its not Maria, the district leader, who’s responsible for “not’ allowing those things from happening. It’s the 138th City Council members Anthony and Nessah. BAM 🙂

        1. Andy, thanks, yes I am aware Winthrop school is over on Eckart St, and Madison Ave. and I mention Maria because she’s on the BBOE and where was her loud mouth on this incident with the girl.

          1. Andy, like I said, Maria and her loud mouth did and said NOTHING after being aware of the incident with the girl, Maria’s was silent. Nothing but mouth.

          1. Robert, my first term on the BOE ended November 2013. Vallas was superintendent. I was informed of the litigation after returning.

          2. AND? Where’s Morgan now? What are the Current BBOE and Superintendent’s position?

          3. What are the current BBOE and the superintendent thoughts on having to pay out this money? I always here you complain about how Charter Schools are siphoning money for the 21,000 “Bridgeport” students in BPS. Wouldn’t this fail under the same category about money not going to the students? Except this about covering up a sexual assault by a principal and have to pay the victim rather than having to pay for “Bridgeport’s” Charter School students busing. Are you and the BOE going to take up this matter or just late it go? You work so hard on wanting to eliminate or reduce an assistance principal position to save the cash strap BOE because you felt it was not need to run the school. Yet here is a principal that failed to report a sexual assault that cost the BOE 60% of the $100, 000 you wanted to save the BOE by reducing the assistant principal position. SHM

  7. We all know that Joe Ganim—-add in Mario Testa and the 20 puppets on the City Council. All of them are a fake and phony. Let’s throw in a big bunch of city employees’s. R. Christopher Mayer just disparaged a victim of abuse in the Bridgeport School System. We need a McLevy clean-up.

  8. So,as we speak,The Contracts Subcommittee of the City Council are looking to possibly have a one-year moratorium/cancellation about the whole meter mess. At the same time, the Contracts Sub-committee is being asked(forced) to approve the $400 million Memorandum of Understanding with Exact Capital about the renovation of the Poli/ Majestic Theaters. In one single meeting, the Contracts subcommittee is looking at getting out of a contract that was hastily pushed through yet they are also looking to approve a $400 million dollar project that does not have a single penny supporting it. THIS IS CRAZY.

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