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Gaudett: We’re Not Keeping Info From Public, Takes Hit For Media Communication Lapses

August 4th, 2015 · 30 Comments · Law Enforcement, News and Events

Finch, Gaudett recruitment

Finch, at podium and Chief Gaudett, third from right, hope for a quiet summer.

Following a Connecticut Post front-page article Sunday challenging the veracity of information coming out of the Police Department, Mayor Bill Finch’s communications team and Police Chief Joe Gaudett have announced a “three-pronged plan for enhancing media access to information from the Bridgeport Police Department.”

The Post article suggested a gag order from Gaudett has prevented information flow of the city’s crime rate. Gaudett, in a statement released from new public safety spokesman Kevin Coughlin, says he’s true blue when it comes to informing the public.

“First off, I want to make this clear: No directive has been given by Mayor Finch or anyone from his office to keep information from the media that they were accustomed to receiving. Our department prides itself on being open and transparent to the public. And, I take full responsibility for any and all communication lapses that have taken place over the past few months while we’ve been dealing with a personnel matter related to public information dissemination.”

The matter Gaudett references is Bill Kaempffer, a reliable source of information who’s on leave from his position as public safety spokesman dealing with a personal issue.

Ganim, cops

Ganim chats with city police officers at Trumbull Gardens. Photo courtesy of Don Sikorski.

Public safety is an issue that can tilt a mayoral election and former Mayor Joe Ganim is like a chihuahua nipping at Finch’s feet on crime, police staffing levels, police precincts and more. How voters feel about safety can take on a life of its own if they do not see a chief executive and police leadership responsive to concerns, especially in a police department in which the general rank and file cops support Ganim who has received the endorsement of the police union. Finch’s mayoral team is moving quickly in light of the CT Post coverage.

“That said, with the unfortunate situation of newsrooms having less and less staff–and therefore not having the bandwidth to cover every crime incident first-hand–we want to ensure we’re making it even easier for reporters to get the information they’re looking for,” added Gaudett. “That’s why I’m implementing a three-pronged plan today in order to enhance access to police information for the media.”

1. Appointing an Interim Public Safety Spokesperson: Kevin Coughlin has been appointed as the Interim Public Safety Spokesperson starting today.

Ø Click here for more information on the announcement: bit.ly/1IfaaTg.

2. Ordering the Police Department’s Records Office to Make Reports Available: I have issued an order to our Records Department to make police report information available on a daily basis, following all protection rights for victims and redactions required by law.

Ø Click here to read the order that was issued today: bit.ly/1OLLnI6.

3. Holding Weekly Press Briefing at Police Headquarters Regarding Crime Stats: Beginning this Friday at 11:00 a.m. in Chief Gaudett’s office (300 Congress Street, 3rd Floor), weekly briefings will be held that are open to the press regarding crime statistics.

“I’m focused on finding solutions that work for our department and city, and on ensuring that our department is doing everything necessary to keep the public safe, secure, and informed. That’s why we’re implementing these measures, and hope to continue working with the media to keep the public educated on happenings in the state’s largest city.”

Ø For information on the most up to date crime stats in Bridgeport, click here: bit.ly/1IUtzMJ.

Ø For information on a personnel issue that resulted in slower response times on public safety information, click here: bit.ly/1M7jaxT.

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30 Comments so far ↓

  • Vale la Pena

    Yes, we believe you Chief. Like we believe you were not on your cell phone when you had the accident and that’s why you never turned over the phone records when asked by a judge. Like a good servant you sacrifice yourself for your master. “I take full responsibility for any and all communications lapses.” Yes, we believe you Chief.
    You mean to tell us it took months for you and your master to find a replacement for Kaempffer in such important times as these?
    Well, looking back it should not comes as a surprise you and your master took that long. It took until now for you morons to see the PD at its lowest staff levels to decide it’s time to hire. It took you morons three weeks after the shooting at Trumbull Ave to put in foot patrols. Why don’t you take the fall for that too?

  • Jimfox

    Here’s what’s really laughable, the latest poll numbers showing Finch way behind Joe Ganim!
    Finch’s unfavorable is 44% to Joe Ganim’s 32%.
    After eight years without a balanced budget, a 42% mil rate, taxes on every home increased 45 to 50%.
    A police department understaffed by 100-plus officers.
    People in Black Rock are being robbed at gunpoint on the streets daily with no end in sight!
    Homes being robbed, garages broken into, bicycles stolen. It’s like Detroit Michigan East!
    While Chief Guadett and Mayor Finch champion a failed gun buyback program.
    Black Rock and Brooklawn homes are being robbed, people afraid to leave their homes to shop or go to work!
    Crime reports have not been handed out to the media in over three years!
    But let’s not forget how wonderful all those low-paying jobs will be at Bass Pro, and Steelpointe.
    Hey! Did you get out to see Pleasure Beach yet? Oh I forgot, no one to watch your home!

    • Jimfox

      Here’s the kicker! Mayor Finch wants to bring more guns into this city through the Bass Pro Shops, while our congressmen would like to hold the line on the sale of more guns!

      Tell Bill Finch. No More GUNS Bill Finch! No More Guns Bill Finch!

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        If Bass Pro sells firearms at the Bridgeport store the guns will only be purchased by citizens legally allowed to purchase them. The street gangs in Bridgeport and other cities in the northeast obtain firearms through the southern pipeline: individuals who head to Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas and other points below the Mason Dixon line to purchase weapons that are resold up here.

        The idea of a Blood or a Crip walking into Bass Pro Shops to buy a handgun (“Lemme see da Glock nine mill, yo …” is laughable.

  • Andmar

    Although police stats can provide more immediate figures, there are also public databases people can use. I use these data to sort of look at things across time and make my conclusions. Here is a link to some graphs I put together using these databases, and check out the blog.
    socialecologicalresearch.tumblr.com/

  • Bob Walsh

    OK, Chief. First topic of your Press Conference must be an update on the Trumbull Gardens ambush.
    Specific information, not data about crimes in general. Let’s see it happen.

  • Bob Walsh

    If all Superintendent Pencil Pusher is going to do is go through Crime Data statistics, tell him to save his breath. Give us updates not data bytes.

  • Maria Pereira

    Reactive, not proactive. I think this sums up the Finch administration quite accurately.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Corrupt, Testa the puppeteer, pay to play, under-the-table bribes, no developers, no respect from Hartford and Washington. That would sum up a Ganim administration. An administration that would stink of corruption. Do you think that would sum up a Ganim administration? I do.

      • Maria Pereira

        Steve, I will take Mario Testa over John Stafstrom any day of the week.
        Compulsive liar, thousands still waiting for their $600 rebate, illegally underfunding the BPS by over $5 million in the last three years, trash an evaluation that cost taxpayers over $300,000, $600,000 for a driveway in Stratford, orchestrated the illegal takeover of the BPS with a Greenwich billionaire, tried to deny residents their right to vote because “democracy doesn’t always work,” over 80 commissioners with expired terms, average taxpayers real estate taxes increased by 40% or more, lowest police staffing levels in decades, Bridgeport ranked as one of the dirtiest cities in the U.S., ranked as one of the worst cities to retire, one of the worst for tourism, and let us not forget under Mayor Finch’s reign, Bridgeport has been named the highest taxed city in the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.

        As I talk to voters, my problem isn’t that I don’t have enough to work with as I educate voters as to why they should not vote for Finch, it is that there is too much to squeeze into just a few minutes of discussion.

        But you know me, Steve. I am definitely going to make it work.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Maria, it seems the Ganim playbook talking about the $600 dollar rebate is eight years old. Four years ago Mary-Jane Foster passed out $600 dollar rebate slips. I have some, you want to pass them out? Maria, do you know Mario Testa? Have you ever eaten in his restaurant? Do you know John Stafstrom? Why would you take Mario over Stafstrom number one and number wo who even mentioned Stafstrom? Maria, how do you rationalize your support of Ganim? He is a liar. He denied his guilt for years. Where do you get off criticizing Melanie Jackson while worshiping Joe Ganim???

          • Maria Pereira

            Steve, just as you and everyone else is allowed to support, or not support a candidate, so am I.

            She betrayed me and others who really worked to help elect her to the 138th TC. As you know, I believe in holding politicians accountable for keeping their word and commitments.

            I never met Joe before late 2014. He hasn’t betrayed my trust. If he does, I will hold him accountable too. I do not discriminate.

          • Pete Spain

            Steve,
            Re the $600,000 estimated cost of Driveway-gate in Stratford.

            Others who know the case well have indicated that the total cost was even higher.

            A relevant post by “Follow the Money” here in January is below.***

            Are we sure his/her numbers are complete and correct?

            If anyone in the Finch administration would like to challenge these numbers by providing an official accounting of the numbers, please do so.

            ***
            onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/airport-land-deal-litigation-new-high-school-on-council-agenda/

            Follow the Money // Jan 18, 2014 at 10:27 am

            Airport Access Road (Driveway) Costs
            January 1, 2014
            
            Road Construction
            
            Acquire rights for Moutinho        $46,000
            Complete Construction Plans        $10,000
            Road Construction                 $389,000
            Additional Fire Hydrant             $5,500
            Aquarion Fee Inspection/Testing    $16,500
            Independent Engineer Inspection     $4,400
            As Built (required by Stratford    $10,000
            __________________________________________
            Total Road Construction           $481,900
            
            
            Breakwater Key Condo Appeal
            
            condo Attorney Richard Saxl Fee    $32,000
            Pay off to Attorney John Kucej      $9,000
            City outside Counsel-Ira Bloom     $20,000
            Moutinho Attorneys' fee            $34,000
            Fence, shrubs and landscaping
            settlement                         $22,000
            __________________________________________
            Total condo appeal and settlement
            costs.                            $117,000
            __________________________________________
            Total cost for Road Construction
            and Condo Appeal                  $598,900
            
            *Some costs are approximate and could be
            higher but overall not much lower.
            
            Costs do not include City Attorneys'
            office time or court costs.
          • The Bridgeport Kid

            Steve, Steve, Steve,
            When will you learn? Bill Finch cannot walk on water, cannot heal the sick or raise the dead, and cannot turn water into wine. He has a singular talent for obfuscation and outright lying:
            • “Democracy doesn’t always work.” According to whom, Mr. Finch? That self-serving bit of hoof-in-mouth disease was meant to explain why Hizzoner wanted to take over the BOE at the behest of a Greenwich-based developer.

            • “Bridgeport is safer now than it has been in 40 years.” And if horses had wings they could fly Alice to the moon. Overall crime statistics are down; violent crime is way up. There have been 11 homicides in Bridgeport this year, an increase of 120% over the same period last year. Nonlethal shootings are up too. Just the other day there was a drive-by shooting that put two men in the hospital.

            • “Black Rock residents need to understand why they have to pay more in taxes.” The reason why homeowners in Black Rock and the North End have to pay more in taxes is because more than 40% of the city’s property is OWNED BY THE CITY. Can’t tax that. There are dozens of residential properties deeded to the city due to foreclosure. Is the city doing anything to rehabilitate these properties to resell them? No. The vacant houses are taken over by squatters who then use them as shooting galleries, crack houses or places for street whores to turn tricks. The copper plumbing is stripped out for scrap, windows broken, fires set. No one in City Hall is taking stock of this inventory, which is stupid. These residential properties could be added to the grand list, increasing the city’s revenues and lowering everyone’s tax burden. Has Bill Finch, Adam “Pecker” Wood and the rest of the “Hee Haw” gang taking up space at Morton Government Center thought of that? Noooooo. All the mayor and his cronies care about is playing to the cheap seats by building playgrounds, movie theaters and chain restaurants.

            • “I’ve created thousands of jobs.” That’s true, he has. The begging question is how many of those thousands of jobs were set aside for Bridgeport residents? There are more than a few skilled construction workers living in Bridgeport. Given that the city’s unemployment rate is 8.3%, nearly twice the state’s rate, why is the Finch administration doing nothing to create short- and long-term jobs that pay a decent living wage? The surest route to improving a local economy is creating jobs for the local residents. Starbucks, Bass Pro, Chipotle and the movie theater are only going to offer minimum wages. The playgrounds do not create jobs; only more work for the Parks and Recreation Department.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Maria, the driveway went from $400,000 to $600,000? Yup, you are definitely thinking like Joe. The extra $200,000 for you know, the little extras that make him feel like his peeps in the Trumbull Gardens and PT Barnum because he is just like them. Fancy suits, fancy cigars, $500 bottles of wine. You know, the little extras.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Maria, just FYI, the city is not only a lot cleaner today than when Ganim was in office. Not to mention recycling.

            The city of Bridgeport Connecticut has more tourist attractions than most in the state. We have the only zoo in the State, we have the Discovery Museum, Barnum Museum, The Vibes, the magnificent Seaside Park, the Cabaret, Pleasure Beach, Port Jefferson Ferry, Merritt Canteen, ;-) The Carousel at Beardsley Park. Parks in every neighborhood, Captain’s Cove. The Nature climbing reserves behind the Discovery Museum. City Lights, Sterling loft artist galleries, The Nest, Housatonic Community College art gallery etc. etc. I can understand you love talking about Bridgeport being the worst. In everything. Most Bridgeporters will only agree Bridgeport is looking pretty good and was worse no doubt during the Ganim administration with no private investment development during the most robust economy. You get the picture. You are supporting a Mayor who had been in office for 10 years, went to jail for seven, lives in Easton and rented an apt. in Bridgeport and never sent his child to a Bridgeport school. It will be a landslide because people will remember just what Ganim had done to the city. That is what Maryli Secrest will do. :-)

          • Maria Pereira

            The total costs associated with the driveway in Stratford are approximately $600,000. This cost includes the lawyer fees and the settlement with the neighboring condominium.

            I apologize, Steve. I was completely unaware Trumbull Gardens and P.T. residents wore expensive suits and drank $500 bottles of wine.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Maria, of course the people of Trumbull Gardens and PT Barnum apts do not drink $500 bottles of wine and wear $3000 suits, dine in the most exclusive restaurants or send their kids to Easton schools. The videos at the Cartright show Cole Hammond, Ganim’s communications director living in Ganim’s apt. The point is Ganim takes off the suit and shows up at every vigil and expects the people of the projects to believe he is one of them and sends friends who look more like them to have them believe that crap and that is about as sad as it gets, Maria.

            However, when Ganim lets you down, I know you will be as ruthless as a pit bull and that could be scary. But alas he has Carolanne Curry to protect him as well as Jim Fox and Bridgeport Kid.

  • Bob Walsh

    I just read this headline on the CT Post website:
    Another shot at UB summer orientation
    And thought the violence is totally out of control.
    Then realized the CT Post limited vocabulary of its headline editors can be very misleading. But we should quiz Gaudett on this story, too.

  • BPT REBEL

    What is with this paving 30 yards of a street then leaving the rest a busted-up disaster? Is this a trick so Finch can say he paved every road?

  • Bob Walsh

    I hope Superintendent Pencil Pusher addresses the issue of a reward for the Trumbull Gardens Ambush. I thought Foster at least offered something different and out of the box for Bridgeport. And if someone is going to say rewards don’t work, guess what? Nothing seems to be working on this case!!!

  • Bob Walsh

    Lennie,
    Will OIB be at the first briefing?
    If so, maybe you can put up a page asking your readers what they want you to ask Superintendent Pencil Pusher.

  • Tom White

    The report in the Sunday CT Post by Dan Tepfer was a rare example of a report not initiated by a Finch media event. It exposed an apparently deliberate approach by the police department to channel all information traditionally on the ‘police blotter’ through a Finch administration spokesperson. This is just another example of the ‘ministry of public enlightenment’ approach. The result is a failure to be open, transparent and accountable, something John Lee has exposed in city finances and the operations of the city council.

    It appears from this blog posting the Finch administration has a plan for how it will carefully craft release of police information rather than the use of a ‘police blotter’ other municipalities use.

  • Wicca

    This administration (Gaudett included) will do and say anything, and spin anything to hold onto the Mayor’s office. This includes trying to dupe the public with aggregate crime figures so they can legally claim crime is dropping.

    As long as they are covered by the dubious cloak of plausible deniability, they will push the envelope as far as they can, as often as they can, at the expense of the residents. It’s all about them, all for them, and has nothing to do with adequately running the largest City in CT. It does have everything do with adequately filling their bank accounts.

  • Bob Walsh

    Lennie, will you be there???

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