Acting Chief Garcia Issues Oath To New Police Class

Acting Chief Garcia addresses recruits.

Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia welcomed the latest city police recruits on their first day at the Bridgeport Academy.

Class #42 has 16 recruits for city service, according to a city news release, including four Bridgeport residents, three females, four African Americans and three Hispanic cadets.

“Welcome to the world of being in public service,” Garcia told the recruits on a day she also delivered the oath to them. “Take your time in the academy to ask questions, get informed, get to know the city. Keep your honesty, integrity, and study hard. We are going to directly engage with the community through community projects to help build connection and trust with residents as well as to remind you every day of who you will commit to impartially and faithfully protect and serve in our great City of Bridgeport.”

The new recruits are expected to graduate in May 2021 and will increase the current staffing level from 369 to 385 sworn officers, assuming no departures.



  1. Here is another example of David Dunn not having the ability to hire a testing company to give that hires a good results that has diverse group of qualify candidates and there was a poor recruitment efforts by not being able to hired a diverse group of candidates that mirror Bridgeport. Just look at these numbers, Class #42 has 16 recruits for city service, according to a city news release, including four Bridgeport residents, three females, four African Americans and three Hispanic cadets. Look at how many out of towners hired, 75% of class have no relationship with the city that already has a problem with race and not understanding of the community plus less than half of those hired are black and Hispanics..

  2. Only 369 sworn officers today. Even if all candidates make it to June and graduate with no retirees from the force, will we be at full strength for officers active? Are we around 75% of planned strength? Why so low? What is ratio of Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, etc. relative to total active. Who keeps track of this info routinely? Or is it a secret best kept away from taxpayers and those interested in public safety arrangements? Time will tell.

    1. JML you would be better off by keeping track of how many leave for other departments after getting POSTC certified at Bridgeport’s expense. Any of them with half a brain will start looking immediately after their probationary period is over. Other departments like that as it saves them and expense of doing it.
      As far as what the number is to bring the place “up to strength” you can ask AJ.
      Oh….. never mind…….
      Imagine how many new cops could have been hired with the cash that Ganim and company has cost the city going back to his original first term!!!!
      And the council just sits on their hands!

  3. My prayer and hope for the community is that the newly appointed Chief highlighted the importance of sticking to your oath as an officer. It would also be of great importance to discourage abuse of power. Unfortunately, the new recruits will not have a current role model in the BPD to model after.

  4. No one should be surprised that 75% of those new hires live outside of Bridgeport or that 44% are white males because the results mirror Recently Arrested Acting Director of Civil Service David Dunn. White male who lives outside of Bridgeport!

    Can you imagine how many millions of Bridgeport tax dollars are leaving the city every year to uplift the suburban community, while Bridgeport struggles financially and raises your taxes to pay those suburbanites? I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, do what Hartford does, it has two lists, one resident and one non-resident list. They hire off the resident list until there isn’t anyone left and then, and only then do they hire off the non-resident list. Very seldom, if ever do they make it to the non-resident list.

    1. Don, those in power from the City Council to the mayor have no vision, there are more than enough Bridgeport residents who would be good candidates to serve the City in the they reside in to be able to provide a good life for the family and serve the City as a police officer. Don, they are already paying taxes here, they spend money shopping here and raising their children as they attend schools in Bridgeport. They have a vested interest in seeing Bridgeport to be the best that it could be instead of someone else getting paid with taxpayers money and bringing it out of town where they stay. In fact there are some cities in the State that provide tax breaks to police officers if they reside in the city they work in. What is so hard in making this change, Hartford does, it has two lists, one resident and one non-resident list. They hire off the resident list until there isn’t anyone left and then, and only then do they hire off the non-resident list.

      1. I would like to see the list of people who applied for the last test…….how many of them were actual residents.? How many females actual applied? ethnic breakdown…etc

        1. One of the problems with the police and firefighter entry level exam is the testing company and also you have candidates getting upset because the keep taking these exams and they don’t get hired so they just stop taking these exams. I can’t tell you how people I’ve strongly suggested that they take the exam again and they turn around and tell me, Ron you suggested before that I should take the exam and I’m not going to take it again because they and none of their friends got hired. City does a terrible job in recruiting candidates of color.

          1. Women are weeded out of the FD entrance examinations largely due to the psychological examinations performed by Dr. Kirschner out of Hamden, City’s Independent Medical Examiner. There were many women eligible to enter the academy, however the BFD always finds a way to eliminate women from climbing the social ladder.

          2. Women are weeded out because of the CPAT exam. As of today there is NOT ANY women on the Bridgeport Fire Department who has passed the CPAT exam on order to get hired all because of David Dunn.

          3. There are several women from the current hiring list that past the horrible CPAT examination designed to eliminate women from the field of firefighting. One of those female members was recently hired and is in the academy. Many other women that actually passed the CPAT successfully were then weeded out via Dr. Kirschner’s Psychological examination.

  5. some company’s pay for college tuition with the agreement that you work a certain amount of years until you leave otherwise you have to pay the company back. How about if you pass the Bpt. fire and police academies you are obligated to 5 years …..just a thought

  6. maybe add in residency for 5 years as well……..ive always been in the belief that they should live in the towns that they are serving but i’m not sure how many towns are doing it. Do other cities go thru this every time they have new swear ins? It just seems to get old. Sad that we just cant hire the BEST CANDIDATES

  7. Coach T, Hartford doesn’t make residents stay in the city after completing their probationary period, but they’ve found that younger people hired would rather stay in the city because they live there and have a stake in the city.

    Their message is crystal clear, you don’t have to stay a resident, but you sure as hell have to start out as a resident. Like Bridgeport, Hartford knows that No Non-resident ever moves to Hartford while living in the suburbs.

    1. Don, as you remember before the law was changed that allowed police and fire the ability to reside anywhere in the State the police and fire unions were really powerful because they could delivery huge numbers of votes. Now the police and fire union members and those Black and Hispanics unions members who reside in the City, none of them have any power.

  8. Queen Princess, you are an extremely knowledgeable about one of the methods of exclusion used by Recently Arrested Acting Director of Civil Service David Dunn. This was used to eliminate women, but also putting Bridgeport women through CPAT which further eliminated women. Bridgeport got its 1st women firefighter 30 years ago and not one with Recently Arrested Acting Director of Civil Service David Dunn in Civil Service, Not One!

    Psychological examinations administered also removed a myriad of Black men from the process in huge numbers. Under the leadership of Recently Arrested Acting Director of Civil Service David Dunn the Bridgeport Fire Department for the 1st time in over 45 years put on a firefighters class with No Black’s. The Psychological examinations did that.

    1. Chaja Pole is a black women recently hired and in the BFD Academy (she is biracial). She is the only female to make it through the CPAT and Psychological examination. There were many other Women eliminated at the Psychological examination process on this current list.

      Wasn’t there a previous class of women recently on the Bridgeport Fire Department (I mean more recently than 30 years ago?)

  9. Queen Princess, what I said regarding women and CPAT was that women were hired for 30 consecutive years until Recently Arrested Acting Director of Civil Service was given the job and the 12 years he’s been there they city hasn’t hired another woman.

    Chaja Pole will be the only female in the history of the Bridgeport Fire Department that has passed CPAT including two women Lieutenant’s and the two Engineers and a Fire Marshal. Women seemed to do well without the need of CPAT.

    1. CPAT is just another hurdle created to eliminate women from obtaining a career within the fire service.

      Are you able to provide a breakdown of the women on the BFD, race, age and rank currently?

      1. Queen Princess, welcome to the battle, on OIB there have been only two people publicly fighting against CPAT, Donald and Ronald Mackey, two black men, Don a retire Captain and myself a retire Lieutenant in the Bridgeport Fire Department, we have been retired for 19 years, why is it that the only one fighting are two black men, there’s absolutely nothing in this for us. We didn’t get to be firefighters or a Captain and Lieutenant by our self, there were others who pushed the door open for us, in fact there are people who we don’t even know who fought to open that door and we owe them and the only way that we can thank them is to help others to benefit by having a career as a firefighter in Bridgeport. Again, welcome.

  10. Queen Princess, I’m not sure of the ages, but there are 9 WOMEN….2 Lieutenants, 2 Engineers, 1 Provisional Lieutenant, AND 1 Fire Inspector, AND 3 firefighters.

    Ron Mackey and I have been telling anyone that would listen for 12 years about this glaring injustice with respect to hiring women and CPAT. No one seemed to listen or care as we’ve said it in this forum as well in the CT Post for the last 12 years.

  11. Queen Princess, here are the names of women who are elected City officials an appointee of Mayor Ganim and a black male pastor. None of these officials have questioned why women are not being hired to be City firefighters. Lydia N. Martinez City Clerk, Janene Hawkins, Chief Administrative Officer, City Council Presdent Aidee Nieves, Denese Taylor-Moye, M. Evette Brantley, Jeanette Herron, Michelle A. Lyons, AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, Mary A.McBride-Lee, Rosalina Roman-Christy, Maria I. Valle, Maria H. Pereira, Samia Suliman, Eneida L. Martinez.

    Rev. Herron Gaston, assistant chief administrative officer, $135,362 and a former head of the Bridgeport Civil Service Commission and Carolyn Vermont, this is from the Conn. Post, she has been hired by Mayor Joe Ganim to be his $70,000-a-year community liaison. According to the job description, Vermont will be more than just a glorified social butterfly. She will represent the mayor at various functions and on public or private boards; be Ganim’s liaison with community groups, religious and private organizations; receive and resolve constituent complaints; and take on unspecified additional projects.


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