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.