Wanna Meet Three Police Chief Finalists? By Invitation Only

Update: Media was ultimately allowed in. By invitation only, Mayor Joe Ganim’s administration has solicited about 50 city stakeholders representing clergy, business, social services and other groups to a meet and greet session on Thursday at the Margaret Morton Government Center with the three finalists for police chief, current Acting Chief AJ Perez, Captain Roderick Porter and New Haven Assistant Chief Luiz Casanova. It is not open to the public or members of the media.

The luncheon session is scheduled to start at noon and last until about 3 p.m.

“Each candidate will make a brief presentation that outlines their experience, qualifications, policing priorities, major public safety issues and challenges, short and long-term plans for urban policing and their vision for Bridgeport’s Police Department,” according to the email notification. “You will have the opportunity to ask each finalist to expound on these or other relevant policing topics or concerns.”

The plan is to roll in each candidate individually to approximate 40-minute sessions.

Why not make it open to the public? City officials want to alleviate concerns that the candidates and/or stakeholders could be intimidated by media presence or parties who could be disruptive such as groups opposed to the selection process. Bridgeport Generation Now, a critic of the current police leadership, has pressed Ganim for more inclusiveness.

It’s dubious, however, that three veteran police officials who have loads of experience dealing with media, crime scenes, neighborhood rallies and protests would be intimidated. The same for invitees many of whom could easily load their impressions on social media pages in real time or afterwards.

So journalists will be assigned, according to the plan, to an adjacent room to ask questions when the event ends.

Ganim recently announced the process that took place leading to a vetting of the three finalists.

Per regulations of the City Charter approved by voters 30 years ago the mayor selects the chief from the three finalists to a five-year contract. The contract may be renewed for one more five-year term. Prior to that the city’s top cop, formerly known as superintendent of police, had been selected solely via the Civil Service testing process. Whoever finished first on the test rising through the ranks got the job essentially for life.

Perez, given his friendship and loyalty to Ganim, is the front-runner.

To view backgrounds of finalists click on their names:
Casanova, Luiz

Perez, Armando

Porter, Roderick



  1. This is a joke, the entire process is a joke from the “Acting” Personnel Director David Dunn to the testing company that doesn’t have the experience and background to give the exam to the 3 final candidates. This group of 50 will in the Joe Ganim camp and they know that Ganim wants A.J. Perez. This a circus with Ganim performing acrobatics to get Perez.

  2. LMAO. Transparency, in a business or governance context, is honesty and openness.

    The residents of Bridgeport should be outraged and appalled even if they had no desire or intention of being a part of this process.

  3. Len, I realize that it takes a while to acclimate to changes, but I’m having a tough time with the new format. It looks great but feels like those gossip magazines you pick up in grocery stores, the lack of the number of comments on each topic is a deterrent to those looking for the hot ones. I think I’ve been blogging too long and I miss the personal connection. Just input, I’m sure I’ll adjust. I would like to agree with my friends, Ron Mackey, and Donald; this selection process resembles a reality show; more respect should be given to the selection of the Chief of Police.

  4. Do we have a monarchy in Bridgeport?

    Only those invited by Ganim can meet the three finalists BEFORE he selects A.J.?

    Could you image if the Board of Education only invited specific attendees when we were searching for a superintendent?

  5. Lennie,I agree with Lisa,anyway possible to have a comment count under each topic?.When I come back to the page,it’s impossible to tell which topic people are commenting on.

  6. I agree with you. The number count needs to be on the front page. It’s not so much as a deterrent then time consuming search to see who commented or replyed to your comment. The threads will get shorter because of open up each topic post to see if there was a new comment. While it’s about clicks but it’s not just about the story it’s about the comments as well. people what to read the comment. Who doesn’t want to know what where ” all things black” stand on a topic. 🙂 The thread will get lost quick because you have to open every page to see if the asshole, the loser, or the all things black. replied 🙂 No one has the time to search for comments so repeated traffic on each topic will slow because of it as well as the threads. Also the big least topic on the bottom should be on top, leading the page. PS if you forgot who is the loser it’s TBK 🙂 When you do write a comment it’s much better. 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwi9P8Xj_0U

  7. I’m holding out hope that Ned takes Joe to Hartford if he wins.In fact,if Ned just comes out and tells us that,I’m sure he’d get a ton more votes here in Bpt.

  8. Be careful what you wish for. If it happens with less than a year to go then you’ll have 11+ months of Aidee Nieves and god knows how much damage she could do in the time.

    1. I thought about that Bob,I’ll take my chance with her.We just have to finally rid ourselves of Joe is my point.He doesn’t want the job as he proved by ignoring the city for 18 months.Much more concerned about the damage Joe will do when he sees the writing on the wall over the summer..

  9. Ganim2 shows no concern for providing “public service” in his role as Mayor. Think about it. The Charter provides a time period for “acting” Police Chiefs to become part of a formal national search process. Ignored by Ganim2 because he was too focused on seeking his next position to deal with such details.
    In a CT POST OpEd this week Joseph P. Ganim wrote: “Since taking office my administration has hired 100 new police officers, reinstated community policing, advanced department technology and systems, and have taken great strides in reducing crime. My commitment to improve public safety in the City of Bridgeport for our residents and for our schools continues to be a top priority.”
    Let’s consider these issues, one by one, as well as one or two he does not cite:
    **You hire new police officers when others retire, die, become disabled, or move to another department. What caused 100 to be needed? And are we to assume we are at full operating personnel today? If so, why has Overtime total continued to exceed budgeted by millions?
    **What is “community policing”? Honestly, representatives from multiple churches, social agencies and community organizations met with Acting Chief AJ Perez for over one year but could not get a description of what that meant. For instance is opening an office at a housing authority location or on a busy neighborhood street but having no plan to staff it “community policing”? Do residents around such locations know the officers who routinely serve in those locations, or vice versa?? I admit that a location, a squad car, or an armed officer represents policing, but where is the COMMUNITY in all of that?
    **Advanced technology and systems have taken a long time to show up on the street. Where is the data or anecdotes that indicate how well the money spent if providing improvement in public safety after the aggressive videos that are part of Bridgeport’s history?
    **How about taking some great strides in posting actual crime statistics for weeks, months and years over time so that the public can see for itself what is ongoing? It is called OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST reporting to the citizenry of Bridgeport. We do not have that at this time…..and neither does the City Council.
    **Your commitment to public safety for residents and schools is a top priority. YES. Over $100 Million in the past year with half of that going for benefits like healthcare and retirement. Over the top? All to be enjoyed in most cases by folks who do not and did not reside in Bridgeport. How about turning the priority pointer on public education for residents??
    **And please correct me if I am wrong, but your letter stated: “Last week the top three candidates were certified to me by our Civil Service Personnel Director…” Were you pointing to Acting Civil Service Director David Dunn, serving for more than a decade without finding a procedure or exam that could eliminate the ACTING?? Our Civil Service process has languished in a swamp of ignorance and partial attention to quality practice and process. Is that what is of real value to you. It is not the “input of residents” that you say “continues to be of value”! Time will tell.


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