Despite The Media Hype, Bridgeport’s Homicide Rate Lower Than Hartford And New Haven

Frequenting Bridgeport bars delivers added value beyond adequate fluid ounces. They also feature spirited conversations revealing topics of the day.

Last week a group of young people sitting curbside at Brick and Barrel on Broad Street had a pretty good beef going about crime among Connecticut’s largest cities.

“The murder rate in New Haven is worse than Bridgeport,” opined a man from the Elm City. He is right. In fact, the murder rate in both Hartford and New Haven outdistances Bridgeport, Connecticut’s most populous city, this year.

To date this year Hartford has 28 homicides, New Haven 22 homicides, and Bridgeport 15.

Stamford, Connecticut’s second largest city in population, is in single digits, but it’s a much different animal than the other three.

Bridgeport’s population, according to the latest census figures, is 148,654; New Haven 134,023; Hartford 121,054.

Crime stats can be tricky for elected officials to nuance. You must be selective waving pompoms about comparative crime rates. Ya never know when the next spike is around the corner.

The OIB-centric community naturally gets caught up in the meanderings of the Police Department: crime rates, personality conflicts, rigged testing, labor disputes, racial tensions, technology, staffing levels, deployment.

In Bridgeport, cop house politics is Hill Street Blues on steroids.

Still, it’s not necessarily better in other likewise departments. Read the stories about crime in New Haven and Hartford and it’s quite messy in neighborhoods. Bridgeport is often unfairly hyped by outside media outlets.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker is playing technological catch up.

Buying and installing cameras all around the city should help with that problem, he said. He said New Haven’s public camera system pales in comparison to those in place in Bridgeport and Hartford; he frequently hears from community members that they would feel safer if there were more cameras in their neighborhoods.

The FBI has just released the latest numbers on Connecticut crime stats 2019 to 2020. Overall violent crime was down in Bridgeport, but homicides up 17 to 23. Yet this year, so far, they are trending downward.

“At this time last year there were 18 homicides being investigated by the Bridgeport Police Homicide Squad,” said (Acting Police Chief Rebeca) Garcia. “There have been 15 homicides within our jurisdiction so far this year in 2021.”

Go back 30-35 years and Bridgeport’s inner-city neighborhoods were war zones of murder and mayhem led by the crack cocaine epidemic. Few were spared anxiety including church institutions whose congregants barricaded themselves home to escape the drug gang street violence.

Sixty–yes, 60–murders a year were routine during this period, eventually dropping and leveling off from a number of factors in the late 1990s.

If all goes according to plan, a new police chief will be appointed by Mayor Joe Ganim next summer. The first stop is tapping a permanent Personnel Director, likely in November, to build a timeline for a top cop national search.

Whoever lands the job, it’s no picnic in Beardsley Park no matter the relative statistics and perspective.



  1. When data is unavailable to the public in simple fashion, or must be specially requested as with FOI, perhaps it fails the goals of OPEN or TRANSPARENT governance that I often call to attention, along with values like ACCOUNTABILITY and HONESTY.
    The Police Department has begun posting statistics on a somewhat regular basis, the same ones reported to the FBI it seems. I had made an effort to publish these same numbers in Greater Bridgeport NAACP publications for community understanding in recent years with some resistance from the PD. But Acting Chief Garcia noted the changes recently and I am happy to reveal this new source of timely and reliable facts on policing in the City of Bridgeport. Time will tell when administrators see their way to providing the info.

  2. Statistics DO NOT matter when you are a victim of crime or even peripherally affected by it. I witnessed politicians blatantly lie about what “they” were doing to address specific crime incidents when I was in Stamford- and I called them out on it. Politically, I’m sure nothing has changed since then. What’s the point of this? Look how good we’re doing compared with other cities? 15 or whatever deaths are “good” compared to 28 or more elsewhere or 60 years ago? I was in the middle of the crack epidemic and witnessed the carnage. Do the research, politics had a lot to do with it on the “criminal” end and on the political end. Serious enforcement really only got going when little children were getting killed in the crossfire. “They” are not even addressing it now. Look at all the children getting killed by gunfire in the larger cities. C’mon man!!!!


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