Watch: Police Chief Finalists Garcia, Blackwell, Porter Answer Law Enforcement Questions At First Public Forum

It had the feel of a political debate, but the last person standing come November will be selected, not elected.

The first public forum showcasing the three finalists for chief of police took place Tuesday night at Central High School.

Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia, Captain Lonnie Blackwell and retired Captain Roderick Porter fielded questions about policing issues via the public and three moderators: Frank Delgado from WPKN, Deborah Greenwood from Center for Family Justice and Tiheba Bain, founder of Women Against Mass Incarceration.

The forum was streamed live on the city’s Facebook page. See video above.



  1. Submit your, questions Ok 🙂

    I have one question, two parts

    Speaking on behalf of a demographic in Bridgeport with expectations of its government. Although, sometimes that government doesn’t live up to those expectations

    Each of your training and experience are byproducts of local law enforcement. On one hand, which is why there have been calls for someone outside to run and manage the Bridgeport Police Department, based on the criticism that the department is marred in racism in incompetency.

    To be fair, much of that criticism is rooted in Bridgeport politics, inside and outside of the police department.

    Let’s face it, 95% of the people here today are here based on those politics, more than the actual strengthening of the Bridgeport Police Department.

    I mean 90% of the eligible voters in Bridgeport don’t vote. So I highly doubt many from that demographic, who didn’t let their voice be heard at the ballot box are going to come to an hour-long forum to voice their concerns about an elected official, whose election they didn’t participate in, as to who he will promote within the police department, to be its the top manager.

    However, while this demographic may not vote they are residents and have expectations of their police department. They expect the police department to solve and reduce crime, which creates a better quality of life for them and their community

    They don’t want to see violence and abuse in the streets, especially coming from the police department, the people who they are supposed to call for help and to prevent such acts.

    On the other hand, your training and experience makes you uniquely qualified to understand the complexities, dynamics, and challenges in policing the City of Bridgeport, As well as the politics that surrounds it.

    So on behalf of the 90% non-voting block demographic.

    A, Can each of you tell us what you like and admire about the Bridgeport Police Department in the city of serves?

    B, Can you tell us what you like and admire about your fellow officers who are beside you today and worked side by side in protecting and servicing the residents of Bridgeport? 🤣

    1. Police Department and the city it serves?

      My takeaway, I can’t see Garcia not continuing her role as chief.

      I am sure there are management “issues” within the department with a $100,000,000 budget. 🙂

      That being said, I take issues with the public pressure on the social service division handling 911 calls as knee jerk reaction to police abuse. It’s sad it has to pander to it. It should not passively be dismissed as aggression or the absence of, so-called mental issues. Social workers are not trained to handle mental aggression. Social workers. SMH

      What needed to be done is train officers’ to assess mental state.
      and not view themselves as a hammer and treat everything like a nail.

      The word train might be overused. Let’s face it many officers don’t have the temperament to handle the demands of the job, or lost it along the way. Let’s face it some are mental not equipped to do/handle it. while others may be too “biased” to do so too. At any rate, the mental stability to handle the demands of being a police officer is absent in today’s world of video, issues will arise because of it. JS

      Peace out, play nice, and good luck.


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