Police Chief Case: Ganim Juggles Loyalty With Voter-Approved Process

Perez swearing-in
Ganim issues oath to Perez March 2016.

Approaching two years as the city’s top cop, few dispute A.J. Perez’s likability, work ethic and accessibility, but does that translate into effective law enforcement management? Perez has exhibited decades of loyalty to Joe Ganim, in good times and bad, something the mayor has rewarded Perez in technically an acting capacity. But will it extend to a five-year contract? To do that the mayor must order the Civil Service office to conduct a search for a police chief.

Generally, the way it works, the mayor launches a national search, a committee selects three finalists presented to the chief executive. This process was approved by voters in a charter question presented nearly 30 years ago that limits the leaders of police and fire to two, five-year terms.

Some argue the mayor is doing himself–and residents–a disservice by not ordering a national search that could lead to strong alternatives. Perez, however, has his supporters who embrace his geniality and responsiveness. Either way, Ganim could order a search and select Perez. So what’s the down side of just conducting a search?

CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart has more:

Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez has had a tough sophomore year in charge of Bridgeport’s Finest.

A spike in homicides. The fatal shooting of 15-year-old Jayson Negron by a rookie officer. The suicide this month of another officer whom the chief placed on leave in October for alleged use of excessive force.

Then there are the recent allegations that Perez, at the request of the Democratic Party chairman, meddled in a hotly contested City Council primary.

… In March, Perez celebrates his two-year anniversary running the police department of Connecticut’s largest city … allies and critics are wondering if and when Mayor Joe Ganim will move to give his longtime friend some job security.

Full story here.



  1. The down side is Little Joe may be stuck with a career kaw enforcement officer that is immune to politicsl pressure. A.J. Perez is a USDA prime ass kisser.

  2. I will tell you this, Perez is one of the worst chiefs we have had.
    geniality and responsiveness my ass! I am not looking for fucking Santa Clause . I firmly believe he should have been fired after his role in Ganim 1 came out. There is no way he did not know the law was being broken by Ganim and associates. i do believe he cut a deal with the prosecutors. now we will make him chief, there is one problem he does not have the educational background required by the charter. bTW chief what did you do about the cop that was out on disability and ended up working as a cop in Meriden./ so far nothing What do you have to say about the murder rate that coubled from last year. do we still havea traffice unit and doo the narcos

  3. Anybody know the outlines of what is ongoing in labor relations currently. Officers are talking about it over chow time. Police union negotiators are not evidencing a lean and hungry look. What can they be looking for that is affordable by the City in light of the increases in expense for more than 25 years into the future recently brought to light on Plan A and MERS actuarial plans. Expenses above $20 Million per year for retirees alone have been added without a Mayor, a Police Commission, a CITY ATTORNEY or Labor relations manager attempting to put a positive spin for years. Where is the courage, honesty, and longer term perspective of current negotiators? Are you all going to benefit from Ganim2 “bridging strategy” for filling up a benefit bucket? Joe Ganim, perhaps you want to tell OIB the process by which you pursued such bridging since you returned to office? Maybe it’s a secret? But why is it a secret if the public is paying for it?
    Over the past two years I have read and reflected on Male Privilege, White Privilege, and even Black Privilege (read the book). But none of these are of consequence relative to our local “BRIDGE” variety: Ganim privilege. Got a driver and a car and a credit card that appear other than in the Mayor’s budget? And often two layers of legal coverage at meetings. Now, that’s PRIVILEGE!!! Time will tell.

    1. The BPU is seeking arbitration in current negotiations with The City of Bridgeport. The previous contract has already expired. To make things worse,the previous contract was signed close to the end of the 4 year contract.

      1. That’s right Frank. A contract was agreed to run from 2012-16, but it was signed only in 2015. Whatever the terms were formally, it was about this time that civilian review of police matters in Bridgeport became weaker and the subject was not raised. Was it a coincidence or subject to negotiation. No one claims responsibility.

        But the fiscal side of 2015 agreement was movement of both fire and police from reasonably funded Plan B run by the respective Commissions. Instead the City moved the Plan B folks to State MERS and never shared the ultimate cost.

        Took Ganim two years to figure out that he could bond these pensions too. He sold it to us as an interest savings. Four percent on a bond is less than 8% assumed return on the pension plan so his simple comparison was accepted. But when $95 Million goes from our bond to MERS and earns 4.74% (like the last ten year average) MERS will come looking at all of the participants to incease contributions.

        That is what has happened with GANIM1 Pension A. We are paying for the bond cost at $+30 Million annually through Police and Fire budgets as well as funding a $15-17 Million accrued liability annually that will continue another 20 years it is calculated. Plan A, where actuaries used assumptions current at various times to calculate that borrowing $350 Million would ONLY COST $900 Million. At this time it looks likely to cost $1 Billion, 250 Million by 20 years from now. Ganim1 and Ganim2 calling the same plays but telling different stories about how smart his plans are. What do you think? Time will tell.

  4. The next step for “Acting” Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez will be Mayor Joe Ganim making Perez the “Provisional” Police Chief thereby giving all of the pay, health insurance and all other benefits plus it will allow Perez to retire with full benefits of a Police Chief. Then Mayor Ganim will ask for a nationwide search for a police chief by giving a exam. Now if Perez comes out in the top three of those who pass the exam then Perez would retire and receive his police chief pension check every moth and then sign a new contract as the police chief after Mayor Ganim selects Perez as the new police chief.

    1. Don’t hold your breath. As long as Darth Ganim and the Evil Emperor continue to control City Hall the system will be gamed, to the detriment of the oeople of the city of Bridgeport.

      The political class in this town is evil. Too many long-term professional politicians re-elected year after year, decade after decade. Many of them, like Tom McCarthy, have city jobs, in clear violation of conflict-of-interest laws. I guess the immorality of it is lost on them.

  5. The taxpayers of Bridgeport paid Police Chief Joe Gaudett and Fire Chief Brian Rooney EACH over $250,000 a year as the police chief and fire chief because they both were allowed to retire as “Provisional Chief” thereby allowing them to receive their pension right away and then they both sign new contracts to become the police chief and fire chief after they came out in the top three candidates who pass the exam and their contracts were for 5 years each and Chief Rooney serve for two 5 year contracts.


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