Police Chief Search In The Dark

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Callie Heilmann, founder of Generation Now, said of the chief search: “What is unique about Bridgeport that requires such a secret process? Whatever confidence the administration thinks they’re getting by keeping the panel members secret is going to be completely offset by the fact the public will feel very frustrated and shut out from the process.”

Frank did meet in the spring with the City Council and some community groups, and held two public forums to receive community leaders’ and residents’ input on what they want in a top cop.

Councilman Ernest Newton said, “The names of the people that sit on this (selection) committee should be public information. That way it keeps it open and fair to make sure it’s balanced … and not stacked one way.”

City Councilman Kyle Langan, who has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with the current leadership and direction of the police department, cautioned the Ganim administration that a “clandestine and opaque” hunt for a chief would only create controversy around the results.

Full story here.



    1. The only thing that should be kept quiet, clandestine and secret should be the federal governments investigation of how the city of Bridgeport handles its affairs! ALL OF THEM!!!!
      Oh, I’m sorry for overreacting!!!!!!!! Lol.

      1. Maybe newly elected/anointed councilman Defilippo could band together with some other council members of equal quality and demand such an investigation be performed. If I were an elected official I certainly would because my mission as such would be to make Bridgeport a better place. Making it a better place should start with elected officials.

  1. Ernie and Kyle what creates controversy and unbalance is the police force not having body and dash cams, because all the public has to go on when issue arises regarding police brutality is what the police write in their report.

    You bounce on police when these issues arise when a bystander captures it on their phone and demanding action be taken. Yet you are silent in demanding the department having body cameras. That goes for all involved seeking police accountability. The technology only been around for decades.

    PS When you are talking about the Blue please let’s not use race as a distraction because as you can SEE it was a black, white, and Hispanic cop abusing their authority. It was not them protecting themselves, by any means, and since JML was kind enough to give OIB readers some insight on the white racist cop who sent racist texts, who was sleeping with another cop’s wife, and that “Hero” cop ratted him out for it. (“I sure he’s clean though”) that so called blue line can get pretty thin, so thin you can floss your teeth with it. JML stick to the numbers like (I think) the city taxpayers are paying that cop a pension, who exposed the racism in the department. You would’ve thought he read or at least heard of Ron’ Book, No Black Heroes” while he works for another police department. Is that right? These cams are not just for racist cop but angry cops, forever reason. #priorities m# publicsafety SMBH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AO_7YGma-I

  2. The Bridgeport City Council along with Mayor Joe Ganim are the blame for there being no permanent police chief. Armando “A.J.” Perez has been the city’s acting top cop for over two years which is in violation of City Charter for “acting” in a higher position, Perez true rank is a Captain and he can only serve in a “Acting” position by charter for 120 days. The same things goes for the Personnel Director who has the “Acting” Personnel Director for over 11 years instead of 120 days by charter, now what is it that Mayor Ganim and the 20 members of the City Council don’t understand about the laws of the City. Mayor MUST make Perez the permanent police chief no matter where he placed on exam, he could come in last he will still get the position because Ganim owes Perez big time, this is not about who is the best person to manage and lead the police department it’s payback time for Ganim.

  3. The work of a high-level personnel search committee is allowed to be confidential. In fact, meeting notices are not required to be filed with the City Clerk and meetings are not required to be public. However, every name of the individuals serving on the personnel search committee is a matter of public record.

    This is absolutely outrageous!

    This would NEVER happen if Judge Lopez was Mayor. N-E-V-E-R!

  4. No where do I see where Chief Perez has a college degree that being said he is not qualified to be the police chief. Read the charter its all there/ Is the selection committee the same people that are going to test the other candidates and if so what makes them qualified? This selection is going to be a real dog and pony show. Anyone thinking of talking the exam or applying for this job would be wise Not to. There are to many people here in Bridgeport that think they are defacto cops and know more than they do.
    To all these cop experts why not concentrate on the kids and their educaation

  5. I just submitted three separate FOIA requests on the City of Bridgeport’s website. One for the Mayor’s office, one for the CAO, and one for the Civil Service Commission.

    They will be required to comply with our right-to-know who has been appointed to serve on the search committee for a permanent police chief.

      1. Maria, Ron…I have had plenty of experience filing FOI requests to the BFD, City Attorney’s Office, Town Clerk, and Civil Service. They have 4 days to respond. They usually didn’t meet that deadline, but I had ready complaint letters for each department for the FOI Commission, and sent them immediately! It takes a little while, but it is their (FOIC) job to mitigate these complaints ASAP, and they always did! The FOI is on the side of the petitioner, has been my experience. A petitioner who follows the rules will get what they need and even though the City will drag their feet, the law is on your side. Sometimes they would have to send a couple reps from whatever office I was filing. and they hated that! They would try and make deals but I never trusted them. I made them travel and I was very happy with this State Commission, and I got everything I needed.
        Go through the process, it’s bureaucratic, but works just fine! Have all your paperwork ready to go before you even file! Make up the complaints when you finish writing them what you want, and have ’em ready to go.

        1. Nick, thanks, what you explained is what people need to understand, that they must push on and don’t go for the nullxxxx the Hamilton Burger and the others in the City Attorney’s Office. I remember your efforts and when I was on the fire union executive board we had our battles with FOI filing but we prevail by following up and pushing back.

        2. Agency should acknowledge request within four business days. Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-210, public records must be kept accessible and must be made available to a requesting person “promptly during regular office or business hours.” It is the Freedom of Information Commission’s (FOIC) opinion that the word “promptly,” as used in Conn. Gen. Stat. §1‑210(a), means quickly and without undue delay, taking into account all of the factors presented by a particular request. In Advisory Opinion #51, the FOIC stated “[because the facts are going to vary, and vary in significance, in each case, the Commission cannot definitively set out in this opinion all of the factors that should be considered in determining promptness.” However, the FOIC advised that “common sense and good will ought to be the guiding principles.”

          See Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 1-206(a); 1-210(a) and Advisory Opinion #51.

    1. Harvey, sad but true, I have NO CONFIDENCE in this panel doing what’s right because it won’t matter because Mayor Joe Ganim will select AJ Perez as the Police Chief.

  6. Ron it has noting to do with confidence in a panel because The Mayor has the final say, right? So regardless what Ernie is saying about the deck being stack ,Joe will pick AJ unless he feels there is enough opposition to discredit him. Just my opinion. Bam I’m out. I do have one question before I depart from OIN. Does the police force have its body and dash cams yet? Because at the end of the day regardless who’s Chief the cams will help the general public, mostly form angry cops lashing out, yes law breaker, assholes, but that’s not a right. I say angry cops because it always just a one or two who seems to be out of control, while others cops just seem to let it go, to say the least. That’s when the blue line seems the thickist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcSQIn_0ps0 good luck people!

  7. What seems to be missing in the conversations on this matter is the part that David Dunn will play in this process. I can guarantee you that David Dunn at the urging of Mayor Ganim will manipulate the results to reflect that Perez will be in the top three.

    There has been no oversight of the Civil Service office in that David Dunn has had his hand in every exam personally rather than letting the author of these exams to pick the assessors, score the exam and to just present Civil Service with the results. Mayor Ganim will be the guiding light of the fake results of this exam and David Dunn the architect.

  8. The Bridgeport Civil Service System was started in 1935 by Mayor Jasper McLevy, a member of the Socialist Party who was the longest serving mayor of Bridgeport for twenty-four. Mayor McLevy instituted a merit system in the police and fire departments.

    What is civil service, a system or method of appointing government employees on the basis of competitive examinations, rather than by political patronage. The United States Civil Service Commission was created by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, which was passed into law on January 16, 1883. The commission was created to administer the civil service of the United States federal government.

    Well, it seems that Mayor Ganim and the City Council don’t support the civil service system instead they seem to believe in the political patronage system. Merit base testing and hiring and employees “Acting” in a higher capacity is truly understood by all of the City’s unions including the police union. Their silence is because they don’t want change, they know that AJ Perez is in violation of being the “Acting” Police Chief. Unions really don’t want new members being hired because they rather get the overtime because their department is not fully staff plus they get to work in “Acting” positions or “provisional” positions.

  9. How can Mayor Joe Ganim select AJ Perez as the permanent Police Chief?

    ‘State’s Attorney probing alleged racist texts’
    By Brian Lockhart and Daniel Tepfer

    BRIDGEPORT — Bridgeport State’s Attorney John Smriga has launched an investigation into allegations that recently retired Police Captain Mark Straubel is guilty of hate crimes.

    But Police Chief Armando Perez has so far not turned over key evidence requested two weeks ago, Smriga said Tuesday. That includes an Internal Affairs report and allegedly racist text messages that Straubel, who is white, is accused of writing on his mobile phone that he hoped for a race war and calling African-Americans “a cancer.”

    “He should have had it by now,” Perez said Tuesday when reached for comment. “That frustrates me a little bit.”


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