The Challenge To Keep Pace With Police Departures

Mayor Joe Ganim’s proposed spending plan now in the hands of the City Council’s budget committee for the July 1 fiscal year funds 80 new police officers.

The issue is keeping pace with retirements with more on the horizon. The attrition also begs the question: what is the appropriate staffing number to fully service law enforcement?

Also, how will this play out in a mayoral election year?

More from Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

The fact that the force is down dozens of officers has been no secret. But over the weekend new Chief Roderick Porter and some of his staff during the department’s annual spring budget presentation to the City Council released fresh data, including revised actual and estimated retirement figures, showing just how problematic the situation has become.

According to one chart, since 2017 hiring has never kept pace with the continued loss of personnel. Six years ago Bridgeport had a police department of 408 men and women. That number now stands at 302 on the chart.

In recent months reports of the department’s current staffing have ranged from 284 to 292 officers. Even the police department’s budget presentation Saturday offered different and conflicting staffing information within the same document–302 officers on one page, 309 on another.

Regardless, neither of those latter two totals is close to what is considered a perhaps unrealistic ideal–a complement of 426, per Saturday’s budget presentation–or to Porter’s recently stated goal of around 375. Bridgeport is after a lengthy delay preparing to hire a firm to conduct an analysis to determine the appropriate size.

Full story here.



      1. As long as we feel safe !?
        That’s no way to run a PD handing out OT @ time and a half or double time when overtime, pension benefits and capital spending are factored in—is cold comfort to Bridgeport taxpayers. Public safety is so important, just what we need an exhausted Police officer at Seaside Park’s Shooting Galleries last week!

        1. When we are not familiar with budgeting, deals, grant details, and other reasons for why and how the +400 page annual story telling happens, a steady repetition of NON-ACTUAL numbers are told and re-told, likely.
          Is it the way that the budget must be presented, with personnel numbers as real and necessary, not because its pursuit is a Commission or Chiefs priority, but because the number is used to receive CURRENT and FUTURE funding from a previously awarded multi-year grant? Fake? Fantasy? For real, really? Time will tell.

  1. Police officers, women and men in blue, trained and certified to the requirements and local and State laws surrounding public safety, who take upon themselves an oath of office to serve members of the public equally likely will be well served if the City leadership studies current City needs and decides on a NEW and SUSTAINABLE plan for Bridgeport.
    Moving such officers from behind administrative desks and into active assignments, requiring all officers to have blue uniforms at hand should the need occur are two ways of adjusting to an ever decreasing roster from which to assign duty. Why has the Police Commission not spoken up about the threat to “public safety” that is represented by a shrinking roster? What is a motivation to watch from their post and fail to speak up? Time will tell.

  2. Truly, when a city is describable as a place that is of such condition (political, socioeconomic, public safety) that it cannot attract or retain law enforcement officers of appropriate character, background, and ability to serve on its (currently, seriously understaffed) police force, that city is an indicated candidate for state receivership.

    There is really not much more to say other than Bridgeport’s situation should have the full attention of Connecticut state government, as well as the US government — especially if considered in the context of Bridgeport’s untenable municipal financial condition and its chronic political/governmental dysfunction.

    Let’s see just how much concern for Bridgeport and its socioeconomically-distressed populace Governor Lamont, the GA, and our Congressional delegation demonstrate in the context of this municipal crisis in Connecticut’s largest city…

  3. I changed my mind. Well, let’s say I softened it up on some matters. 🙂

    While I still think sending social workers to 911 calls is hazardous, A hammer (police) doesn’t have to see everything a nail.

    There should be a more robust non-police officer traffic division within the police department that training is not at the level of a police officer to deal with road/traffic issues, but enough to handle vehicle/traffic related issues. Even specialize in it. Like car accidents, or directing traffic, things of those nature.

    I would even go as far as traffic stops during the day, who have no authority to chase, pursue or make an arrest, just have specialized vehicles to capture a picture of the line plate. (thought authority to issue warnings. 🙂

    I do believe Chief Porter said he wanted to do more on traffic/safety issues in Chief Porters Corner.

    Though no matter how logical it may sound/be or how logical of a choice Chief Porter was for the “community” That would be a tough sell for those in Blue. You know, not wanting to give up that overtime dough. But logical though. Don’t you think? 🤣

  4. Departures from the Police Department will likely show that retirements, resignations from Bridgeport to work in public safety elsewhere, incidents of discipline or disability or death are most likely to cover most of the decreases noted in recent years. But why did a number like 425 or more certified officers continue to be used annually when it was not grounded in “studied need” backed by research of the City?
    An answer I recently heard was that the City had applied for grant funds for multiple years and to continue to receive the funds you could not decrease your targeted assumption. True or false?
    If true, then the City Council must be sure to pay attention when grants themselves become a channel for the City posting irregular or meaningless statistics to the taxpaying public. Perhaps providing special highlighting of such grant requirements that can have a limiting effect on City decisions, activity, or presentations, may be in order? And if this explanation has any truth to it, how much longer does the Department have to hold to a phony employment target? Time will tell.

  5. First:

    They’re losing cops because why would you work in a city as ungrateful of officers as Bridgeport for crummy pay when you can get paid 85-95k in towns that have same pensions and better healthcare to do less?


    The city has exhibited corrupt behavior from the chief search with AJ, followed by all of the political favors from people like the city council. Who wants to be tied to that kind of work environment?


    I stepped foot in that building about a year ago and it was disgusting. I am embarrassed as a resident that we actually ask people to come there to conduct business and for citizens to call that there safe haven….

    Not one press conference from any of your elected officials to show support or guide that place in the right direction. I feel terrible for Porter because he needs a lot more outside help to actually make that place look decent, and I don’t know if he has enough support to succeed.


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