Members of the Bridgeport Police Union on Wednesday in a low turnout issued a vote of no confidence against Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia citing, in part, issues regarding police overtime distribution as she has pledged to repurpose those dollars from senior ranks to the patrol division.
Union President Sgt. Brad Seely announced the vote was 54 percent in favor of no confidence. Multiple sources say the turnout was low with more than 50 percent of the rank and file not bothering to show up at Port 5 in Black Rock.
For background see here.
Let’s do that math breakdown, based on Seely’s 54 percent announcement. According to multiple sources 170 union members voted. By percentage this represents a count of 91 to 79, slightly under 54 percent, among a rank and file of more than 350, not exactly a landslide vote.
Cops with grievances against a chief have a history of showing up when a no-confidence vote is at stake. Most didn’t bother to vote. Essentially 75 percent of union members between those who voted no and those who did not show rejected opposition to Garcia. She issued this statement following the vote.
“As acting police chief I will continue to work diligently on behalf of the officers of the department and our community. My dedication to move the department forward in the right direction, for the right reasons will not change.”
OIB has asked union leadership for the raw numbers. So far no word.
The union vote calls on Mayor Joe Ganim to commence a national search for a permanent chief. The City Charter provides no specificity about such a move.
Communications Director Rowena White issued this statement following the vote:
“These are challenging times for all law enforcement officers nationwide. Considering the atmosphere across the country and in the city of Bridgeport, being led by its first female chief, this is a predictable outcome. However, this “no confidence vote” only represents 25% of the department, the other 75% voted in favor, or elected not to participate. We support the chief, the department, the rank in file, and their commitment to public safety for our city.”