Police Union ‘No Confidence’ Vote Against Garcia Proves Flaccid

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.”



  1. This is truly a mess. Give Bpt Police Dept a choice.
    Either get rid of the Chief and choose the next one from outside of the city or stick with this one for 6 months.
    Tough choice.

  2. Or you can say 75% of the force is ambivalent to Garcia. That is not a strong vote for confidence in the way she is running the department. That is not a vote that I would be proud of.

  3. Bobby the message from the Rank and File was that they voted No or just don’t give a Damn and this is a failure of the Union Leadership for failure to inspire the membership. A good leader should be able to tell you to go to hell and have you looking forward to the trip.

  4. Declining trust in leadership has many causes, but rather than repeat the most familiar personally understood including the potential danger of the work, the potential that training while mandated has not kept up with the calls on each officer daily especially in an urban environment, and the very special manner in which the local leadership was removed from office and is facing unfamiliar activities in the near future.
    I reference something I have written about previously BUT HAVE RECEIVED NO CREDIBLE RESPONSE FROM READERS OR FROM THE CITY.: How many City employees, specifically Police officers annually participate in an annual employment review with their direct supervisors, the results of which are recorded and become a part of the personnel file, as well as an appeal of supervisory comments, and an opportunity to comment upon the work environment. In a stressful job, such as police officers routinely face, the opportunity to go on record., and know that there is a record that importantly and in a timely fashion shares facts and feelings. If this type of protocol works for the State Police, and for private firms, why do officers report the lack of such process in Bridgeport today? Time will tell.

    1. Because the leadership in that department does not care about the opinion of the bottom ranked officers. In other words they’re told to “shut up and dribble” like athletes, you’re an employee that’s it. That’s the mentality of working for the city of Bridgeport; come in, clock in, and keep your mouth shut or else.

  5. Anyone think Joe gives a shit about this vote??. He’s not going to replace her.Throughout all the years Joe & Mario have been in power, the one constant( other than the corruption), has been having a police chief they could control, it’s essential to their “ operation”.Anyone makes problems, they get reassigned. This is the way it is in Bpt.

  6. So my question is…….Is this just a personal thing or that she isn’t doing a good job?????…….What are the so called issues that the UNION has with her?

  7. Coach
    Lennie posted an copy of the letter that was sent to its members outlining the issues.
    Look back and read it if that would actually change your mind.

  8. All of these problems start with and end with Mayor Joe Ganim but notice how many times Joe Ganim has voilated the City Charter by not calling promotional exams and the fact that the City Council has not said a word. These problems go back to former mayor Bill Finch again nothing from the City Council.

    “Surprise Surprise … Ganim Appoints Perez To Five-Year Top Cop Slot”
    November 5, 2018 LennieGrimaldi

    According to the City Charter, following a police chief vacancy, Civil Service Personnel Director David Dunn has 150 days to conduct a test for a permanent chief that could include a written examination or simply oral interviews before a search committee that in the past has been selected by the mayor. A private firm could be brought in to vet and conduct background checks on candidates. The search committee would narrow choices to three finalists.

    Ganim delayed the contractual police chief search for two years, given his friendship with Perez who has stood by him for decades during good times and dark days including Ganim’s 2003 conviction on public corruption charges. Perez was among numerous city police officers who supported Ganim’s 2015 return to the mayoralty. Following community pressure to launch a search Ganim acquiesced in March.

    The backdrop of Perez’s appointment was Bill Finch, in the last days of his mayoralty, appointing Joe Gaudett to another five-year term rather than allowing Ganim to authorize the process for a new chief. Ganim’s comeback bid was buoyed by many members of the police union who wanted Gaudett out. Ganim on the campaign trial pledged to appoint a new police leader.

    Finch’s reappointment of Gaudett prompted Ganim to devise a strategy to move out Gaudett. He started by bringing in former Chief Wilbur Chapman as a senior adviser on public safety who marginalized Gaudett as chief carrying out mayoral directives.

    Negotiations ensued with Gaudett to work out a pricey buyout of his contract worth about $700k. When they could not come to terms, city officials and Gaudett hammered out a contract position overseeing the Emergency Operations Center while resigning as chief.

    The three-year contract package worth roughly $125,000 per year allowed Gaudett to continue collecting his $78,534 annual city pension.

    Gaudett resigned as chief and Ganim appointed Perez in an acting capacity.

  9. Jo Salling, the Rank and File don’t care either 75% voted no or didn’t show. One wonders why Local 1159 would go through with this vote when 75% of its members wasn’t on board. This appears to be a win for Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia.

  10. Harvey, as a firefighter we took a No Confidence vote on Chief Gerald Grover and it was done by secret ballot so I assume that the BPD local did the same. If this was the case no one would know who voted for what and retribution wouldn’t be an issue. This vote seems like a personal vendetta by the Union President and doesn’t represent the wishes of the membership. The Union President should have done his homework prior to this vote because right now he looks like Boo Boo the Fool.

  11. Harvey, this is a followup to what Don said and the vote has nothing to do with feared of retribution if they voted. The fire and police union have lost their power against the mayor because they have no way to force the mayor to do anything because they don’t have the power.

    “Does It Matter Where They Live? 30 Percent Of Uniformed Services Reside In City”
    May 25, 2017 LennieGrimaldi

    About 30 percent of Bridgeport’s 702 public safety officers reside in the city, according to statistics provided by the city for members of police and fire services.

    The number of Bridgeport residents in the Police Department is 121 versus 297 living outside. In the Fire Department 97 members reside in the city, 187 in communities outside. Residency percentage is higher in the Fire Department.


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