Who’s Among Top Police Chief Finalists?

Sometime this week the names of the three finalists for police chief are expected to be officially announced by the mayor’s office.

Who’s among the top three?

A number of political insiders have mentioned Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia, Captain Lonnie Blackwell and former Acting New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez as candidates who performed well in the testing process.

Information flow has been extremely tight to eliminate influence due to the last chief search in 2018 in which former Chief Armando Perez was imprisoned for conspiring to rig the testing process.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has been retained by the city to supervise the current search soup to nuts. The organization received 27 applications, 19 candidates made the cut for the second phase. The city recently announced the latest oral evaluation phase whittled down to 11 candidates.

A minimum score of 75 percent was required to pass each part of the application process, according to a news release recently issued by the city. Candidates who passed part three will be listed in rank order on the established list.

The City Charter empowers the mayor to appoint a chief among three finalists to a five-year contract approved by the City Council. The mayor can renew the contract for another five years. The chief is termed out at 10 years. Same goes for the fire chief.



    1. BRAKING NEWS: Joel Speedy Gonzalez is looking for the identity of finalist number four (4)fingers. As it was reported days ago, Reene Dominguez one of the alleged 3 finalist for the Bridgeport Police Chief spot accepted the Assistant Police Chief position in Watertown, ct. Rumors has it that Dominguez submitted a letter to the City of Bridgeport requesting the removal of her name from the top 3 list. When and if confirmed, whomever was number four (4)fingers on the list, would move down as one of the final 3. If true, this shows some class and courtesy in the part of Reene Domingues, whom didn’t have to drop out from the list, even if it was known that she accepted a position elsewhere. Good luck Reene Dominguez and thank you for being willing and able to serve and protect the people of Bridgeport.

      1. Update: The identity of finalist number four (4)fingers is exposed. By all indications, if the names of the 3 finalists for Bridgeport Police Chief remains the same till mayor Joe Ganim picks one (1)finger. There’s a 100% chance that the new Chief will be from within the Bridgeport Police Department.

        NOTE AND WARNING: There’s no secret that this whole process has been held in a vail of secrecy. There’s a Nuclear Option in all this: The selection of the night janitor as chief. I’m ready to hit the ground running. I have my suit and bible ready. Lennie Grimaldi and the Honorable Carmen Lopez are the only two people I wouldn’t mind swearing me in. This calls for a flip-of-the-coin.

  1. There’s a 66.3 % chance the new Police Chief will be from within the BPD.
    There’s a 66.3 % chance the new Police Chief will be Hispanic.

    There’s a high probability that Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia will be selected as chief of police. Why would mayor Joe Ganim make a change at this point in time? Joe Ganim passed on Acting Chief Hector Torres; he then passed on Casanova for his friend A.J.
    NOW, he has 2 Hispanics to choose from. What will he do? In no way am I suggesting that Blackwell is not a good or the best choice. Garcia has an advantage no other have, like: Currently Acting Chief; Female/Hispanic (double minority); born & raised in Bridgeport.

  2. Speedy your math is on point, also

    There’s a 66.3 % chance the new Police Chief will be a woman
    There’s a 66.3 % chance the new Police Chief will be someone who held the position of acting chief.

    That being said,
    Blackwell will satisfy the black minority community, while Garcia will satisfy the brown minority community. However, there is a call for someone outside of the BPD. Dominguez will fills both being an outsider and being part minority black and brown community. Well, actually the brown (Latino) is the majority racial group of Port’s community. The real minority group in the Port would be a white community. Per se.

    In any event, there’s a 66.3 % chance the new Police Chief will be Dominguez being an outsider and part of the black and brown minority community. (non-white)

    If Dominguez finished first, and the percentage jumps up to 80% hard to offend anybody if everybody gets what they want and goes with the best person on the test. Per Se. besides the whites, but how carries, right,🤣

    The black organization within the BPD and the NAACP, which represent the Black community, get Garcia out, which they have called for. The Hispanic Society organization within the BPD represents the Latino (brown) community, gets a Hispanic. The white people don’t get a candidate and always want a male, regardless, gets passed out, but how carries. 🙂

    P.S being Hispanic heritage month and Ganim approaching an election year and wanting to please the largest voting block in Port Dominguez my top 90%.

    Well except whites, how carries. 🙂

    Just basic, math people, Although I do use my fingers Joel to count so our numbers may be off, Pun intended, Bam 🙂

    If it is a rare display of guts, you got to be able to stand and take the hit. 🙂


    1. What makes you believe the NAACP or the Hispanic Society has some or any influence on who mayor Joe Ganim will or should select as the next Bridgeport Police Chief? For this to be the case, there must be an open line of communication and discussions with these two organizations. There’s NO discussion with anyone outside the mayor’s circle. In fact, the body of the council as a whole, hasn’t had any discussion regarding the Police Chief appointment with the mayor. It didn’t take long for the names of the 3 finalists to be made known. Just because I posted that Reene Dominguez was Hispanic, it doesn’t mean that is a fact. Dominguez is married to a Hispanic. Good enough for me! Don’t feel duped, dude! But, I assure you that Maria Pereira and John Gomes are both Hispanics.

      Keep in mind that Joe Ganim appointed Rebecca Garcia as acting chief. It’s obvious he had confidence in her ability to lead the department. Joe Ganim recognizes that there could well be some political fires set with the hispanic community if he drops Rebecca Garcia, keeping in mind a potential mayoral challenge by Hispanic and former Assistant Chief of Staff John Gomes.

      Lightning strikes in different places. New Haven mayor Elicker selected Reene Dominguez as New Haven Police Chief. The council rejected Elickers choice triggering a court challenge that lead to a Judge ordering Elicker and Dominguez to take a hike.

      What if Joe Ganim picks Rebecca Garcia and the City Council rejects her?
      Now that would be a major Black(well) Eye for mayor Joe Ganim. Unless of course it’s done by design as I’ve described in order to save face and blame the city council members when Hipanics like Gomes start setting little fires here and there.

      Blackwell has supporters on the council that includes Hispanic Council members. Blackwell has been in positions that requires or permits him to have contacts and police related communications with members of the city council. This has to be worth something! Hey, by the way dumbell, did you know that the late Senator Ed Gomes was also Hispanic?

      1. Well, I do, If you are saying, Reene Dominguez is Portuguese, considered the people of the same peninsula, and their country is just a slice out of Spain. Ask all my Portuguese friends. I away tell the that they are really Spaniards. 🙂 Gomes is not much, similar to Brazilians being considered Latinos, but it could be said.

        That being said, if it’s good enough for you why can’t it be good enough for me? But if you want to get petty Latinos, who people originated from Spain and are technically considered white, like Maria. 🙂


        So let me get this, on one hand, you are asking me if “What makes you believe the NAACP or the Hispanic Society has some or any influence on who mayor Joe Ganim will or should select as the next Bridgeport Police Chief? but on the other hand, you are saying. “Joe Ganim recognizes that there could well be some political fires set with the Hispanic community if he drops Rebecca Garcia, keeping in mind a potential mayoral challenge by Hispanic and former Assistant Chief of Staff John Gomes.”

        They don’t seem to add up. BTW why are you linking the Hispanic community giving Ganim political fires and a potential mayoral challenger Gomes? Would you make the same assessment if it was potentially run by Maria?

        If Teh Hispanic (white) community can give Ganim political fires for dropping Garcia, why wouldn’t the black, (NAACP) give political fire for choosing Garcia who they oppose?

        I don’t think it was that simple as the NH city council rejected Dominguse outright but she was in the acting position too long and the mayor needs to appoint a perminant chief. That was called on by black clergy in NH but she retired so the Mayor didn’t appeal the judge’s decision.


        I higher doubt if Joe picks Garcia, the council reject her. The same can be said for Dominguez. Why do you say this is Joe’s decision alone, I am sure the much communication with

        P.S I stand by my assessment. If Reene tops both Garcia and Blackwell on the test she has a greater % of being chosen who mitigates that potential political fire for both the black and brown communities, while given what those who want and outside to ease the tension within, just a gut feeling.

        So no, I don’t feel like dumbell or duped, but thanks for pointing all that out though, do you?

        1. P.S me and JML ahve discussed the use of and context of Capitalizing words in the text. Either you are “Shouting or Lying. My gut tells me you are Lying about what is being expressed. Sometimes I ask myself why I even bother. JS

        2. I higher doubt if Joe picks Garcia, the council reject her. The same can be said for Dominguez. Why do you say this is Joe’s decision alone, I am sure the much communication with.

          P.S I stand by my assessment…”

          Again you fool. It was a question with wrong information.

          “What if Joe Ganim picks Rebecca Garcia and the City Council rejects her?”

          Do you see the question mark (?) ? The answer is: The councilmembers can’t select anyone from the final list of 3. ONLY THE MAYOR CAN PICK THE FINALISTS. The council members gets to vote ONLY on the contract the city and person selected by the mayor must agree to.

      2. I’m still waiting for someone to spot the error, like, or incorrect part on this post. Answer: The council can’t vote up or down on the mayor’s pick. It can only vote on the contract p

  3. New York Times 
    By Richard L. Madden
    Dec. 17, 1983

    Joseph A. Walsh, Bridgeport’s Superintendent of Police for the past 22 years, was forced into retirement this week, and his ouster came with the suddenness of a coup d’etat.
    While Mr. Walsh was convalescing at home with a circulatory problem Tuesday night, the city’s Board of Police Commissioners, heeding a request from Mayor Leonard S. Paoletta, voted 6 to 0 to retire the 67-year-old Superintendent.
    The Mayor immediately appointed Thomas Thear, a former Police Chief of Battle Creek, Mich., to take temporary charge of the 420-member police force. Mr. Thear was part of a team of consultants that recently issued a study sharply critical of Mr. Walsh’s management of the department.
    Mayor Goes on Police Radio
    Within a half-hour, the Mayor went on the police radio and announced: ”Attention all police. Superintendent Walsh has been retired tonight. I am the chief law enforcement officer. Take your orders in the normal chain of command.”
    Private security guards were moved in to protect the Mayor and members of the police commission. ”To make sure emotions didn’t run amok,” Mr. Paoletta explained later.
    The action stunned some members of the Police Department. Mr. Walsh, a feisty chief who has been on the force for 42 years, said he would fight his forced retirement and would go to court, if necessary, to keep his job.

    ”I will be back,” he said in an interview at his home. ”I don’t run when I’m fighting.”
    Some officers, too, wondered whether Police Headquarters, a block from City Hall, had seen the last of Mr. Walsh. He has been a durable figure in Bridgeport and has survived battles with five previous mayors.
    In 1981 the Federal Bureau of Investigation set up a ”sting” operation under which an informer was to give a $5,000 bribe to Mr. Walsh to arrange a city towing contract. Mr. Walsh, however, turned the tables on the F.B.I., taped the transaction himself and arrested the informer for trying to bribe him.

  4. Hard to say who JG will pick since we don’t know who they are yet! Once they’re announced, Lenny will be in a good position to predict. I think everything points to an outsider. Especially out of the two internal names mentioned. 👎🏼

    1. Hey Vagabond, longtime without reading reading an OIB post from you. Lennie as mystified as us as to who will be selected. Regardless of the names of the three (3) finalists, the logic used to choose should be the same, all things considered. I’m hoping the other “JG” picks this JG.

      1. Joel,

        I also think your prediction would be pretty darned good… I’m hoping for the best for the rank and file. They’ve had it tough for the last, decade maybe? Let’s see what happens.

  5. Word on the grapevine is Reene Dominguez took a police chief position. So if she was one of the top three this would leave Garcia and Blackwell. That leaves a 50% 50% across the board. However, since we don’t know if Reene was on the top three and there will be three for Joe to pick from, there’s still an unknown variable. 🙂


    1. Dominguez it seems has accepted the offer from Watertown. I think it’s an Assistant Chief position. This does not and shouldn’t eliminate her from the top three finalists list for Chief of the BPD, assuming the leaked list names are correct.

      I’m looking, to a limited extent for more factual details as to the reason/s why New Haven leaders opposed her appointment. It wasn’t just that mayor Elicker tried keeping her as acting chief despite the councilmember’s and community’s concerns. Concerns and allegations of police abuse and misconduct while Renee was a patrolwoman for the West Haven Police Department played a role(d)-over.

      1. I believe she would have to request in writing that her name be withdrawn from the list. I don’t see why at this point she’d withdraw. It would be a step up from acting chief to chief.

  6. So it’s about who the best “politically correct” candidate will be? Why would anyone just want “the best” candidate for the job?!!
    I suppose there were no applications entered other than from local talent. If that’s the case then it’ll be slim pickins!! 😂
    Cheers! ……oh, and good luck! 😝

    1. Agreed with political correctness. Without an outside, the choice does have the potential for choppy waters, depending on who’s running that will gravitate the black vote like Moore. While it’s a different time (Trump era) the white/black is there.

      That being said, if the choice comes down to Blackwell (black) and Garcia (brown) who racked the highest on the test proves will prove some cover, without that variable, However, I would say Garcia is in a better position out of the two. A Latino voting block is larger, B, Blackwell has filed suit against Garcia, Gamin, and the city. Which would put him behind the eight ball. The way I see it. As of now, I have to say Garcia is the most likely pick out of the two. Still, there’s that unknown is viable who has to look on paper as overwhelming exceeding in education and experience and top Garcia on the list. If Garcia top the list, there’s no doubt Ganim will pick her. If Blackwell tops her there’s still doubt. This lawsuit has put him at odds with Ganim. SJ

      AS JML would say, Time will tell.


    2. No, I don’t thinks it’s the only factor if that’s what you’re implying. It’s a factor a mayor who would like to continue serving or getting elected would take into consideration. Slim pickins? Are you suggesting there should be a Charter revision to change the number of picks from three (3) to what? You know that the applicants weren’t all “local talents”. Are you being sarcastic? If you’re not being sarcastic, then what’s wrong with picking a talented person? Just because a person is talented, it doesn’t make him or her the best. Just because one is viewed as “the best”, it doesn’t make him or her talented.

    1. Not when the Charter sets the ground rules. I had a discussion with Lennie on this subject matter. I suggested that the mayor could boildown his choices to two (2) and then flip-a-coin. As I’ve stated here many time, ” Always consider the flipside of the coin.”

  7. Well in this diversity woke culture you can make this crap up 2 women and an African American. God forbid there was a strong white candidate can’t have that because that would be white privilege. So let’s breakdown the 3 rumored finalist. Rebecca Garcia 30 years of experience has been commander of several divisions within the department. Latina and a woman that makes her a double minority. That puts her as the front runner in my book.

    Acting Chief Renee Dominguez of New Haven PD. 22 years of experience. Latina and a woman double minority. I would say my number 2 choice. Although I worry that if chosen she’ll skip out of town before her contract is up for greener pastures elsewhere like her other former New Haven PD colleague Bryan (Gary Coleman) Norwood did leaving for a position with the Richmond Virginia PD.

    Captain Lonnie Blackwell. 20 plus years of experience. And that’s where the positives end for me. Only person I know who was promoted to Captain without having to take an exam for the position. Allowed to take a Lieutenant’s exam when he was wasn’t eligible to but was good friends with then Chief Bryan (Gary Coleman) Norwood. Played a role in drafting a so called racist letter circulated within the BPD. And finally his initial hiring as a police officer with the BPD. Why do I bring this part up? Well because somehow all his arrest in Stratford Ct were nolled just prior to his appointment as a BPD officer. Someone has a great fairy godmother.

    So of the three the logical choice would be Acting Chief Garcia. Only in Bridgeport.

  8. Is today the day for an announcement locally? Of course, I am looking for the names of the top three qualified candidates to want the position as Police Chief of Bridgeport, who also in the opinion of the IAPC team have the background, test results, and presence, to make the grade.

    If it’s not, the word from IAPC has proceeded according to their plan. That is a good result for Bridgeport. Fairly tight control on process as well, to this point. By the way, what has been the expense to the City of the officers from IAPC? How does it compare to the expense of the last search to taxpayers for Police Chief?

    When names appear, and opinions sprout, and Ganim2 exercises his Charter Choice, will he tell us how few officers are serving at this moment? What the results of all recent hiring attempts for Police Department have raised in numbers, not hope? And when will communications officers to the Mayor, City Police Commission, or the Mayor himself direct that the reporting of crime data regularly to FBI be shared with taxpayers? Why do we receive only OPINIONS about crime and violence data occasionally and not methodically where trends can be seen visually? Time will tell.


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