Read It And Roar! Top 100 Municipal Wage Earners Of 2020 Led By Police Overtime (Again)

May be an image of 8 people and money

It’s time to make new friends, especially among Bridgeport’s blue.

Former Chief Armando Perez, awaiting sentencing on a federal plea for rigging his police chief test, once again tops the list of top 100 municipal wage earners backed by salary and unused time. Some of AJ’s loot will go to legal fees, as well as fines and restitution at sentencing scheduled for next month.

Left to right in a payment grid provided by the city: name, position, salary number, year 2020, overtime, longevity pay and unused time.

Police officers maintain 17 of the top 20 wage earners and then some. Poor Mayor Joe’s outside the top 40 at a meager $165K.

That meowing you just heard came from city officers feeling the pinch of Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia cracking down on overtime since she took over the job after Perez’s resignation last September. We shall see how the numbers in 2021 match up to 2020.



  1. There needs to be another category added to this list for police and fire, their overtime includes outside overtime that the taxpayers do not pay.

    1. @Ron
      Outside overtime for road work, concert security, etc, may be paid by a third party, but Government (TAXPAYERS) are stuck paying the increased pension cost for this work for the rest of the retirees’ lives.
      Perhaps, the third parties should be billed an additional 20% for retirement benefits and the funds be required to be paid into the pension obligations on receipt. Otherwise the city will just blow it all.

  2. That’s right Ron, although some would argue about your “taxpayers do not pay” line!
    The focus in peoples minds sometimes is …wow these cops must be really getting over…when in reality they are actually putting the time in and providing a needed service. Take out the retirement payouts etc., cops are mostly out there protecting the public. Overtime is the nature of the beast with police departments EVERYWHERE. Why? Because as I have said in the past they are all understaffed. Why? Because the nature of the beast politically is that PD’s ARE NEVER staffed at proper levels AND incidents occur at the end of shifts or carry over from during the shifts and the men and women can’t leave precisely at shift change.
    So in essence, PD’s everywhere have always been “defunded” right at the start of every municipal budget. I could go on but of course what’s the sense!!!!

  3. I’m not surprised and I’m not mad at this list at all. Those little trust fund junkies from suburban towns came in this summer and camped yelling “defund the police” when in essence they were creating police overtime while doing it. That encampment was staffed around the clock 24/7.

    Not only that, but there is a mass exodus happening in the PD right now. Many people that were hired in the last 5 years are leaving. And before you ask, I was told, many are the “Bridgeport residents” we preferred to hire. Just because they’re from Bridgeport, doesn’t make them stupid. They see other departments offering better healthcare, better retirement package, and a far better salary and are leaving. The department is once again understaffed by about 90+ officers and more leaving soon.

    Oh and one more thing, this list is scraps compared to the likes of Norwalk, Stamford, Hamden, and other towns.

  4. I don’t begrudge police and fire from making overtime because they have their family to take care of the best way they can. A separate category showing the the outside overtime compare to the department worked overtime allows the taxpayers to question why there is so much overtime inside those departments. There’s are health and safety issues with police and fire working so many hours including mental stress with the environment they work in. Staffing, staffing, staffing is the main problem, you can’t have pubic safety on a discount rate, you want to cut down on department overtime then hire more workers but then you have to pay their fringe benefits. You can control their salary but then you these workers going to other departments that pay more and who don’t reside in Bridgeport. Another point, Donald Day and myself have brought up a lot of times on OIB, just look at the list and look at how of those tax dollars who don’t live in Bridgport, they take Bridgeport tax dollars and spend that money to support their community instead of our city.

  5. Jo Salling, you are in error when you say most of those leaving are former Bridgeport residents, that’s just not true. Most of this leaving are indeed from suburban communities and most of those that are leaving came to Bridgeport Just to get the job and training until an opening became available in their own community. When you look at those firefighters that are on the list only one is a Bridgeport resident. If I had to hazzard a guess I would say the 80% or more of Black and Latino firefighters who were Bridgeport residents stayed a Bridgeport resident after getting the job and that almost 100% of those that stayed bought a home in Bridgeport.

    1. I’m speaking strictly from police department. The majority that left were hired with residency status at the time. I know I process some of their paperwork in city hall. City is finding it difficult to retain cops whether they’re from Bridgeport or not. The benefits for new hires is so far below par compared to other departments that they leaving for. Insurance is cheaper, pension is better, salary is higher, and work environment is far less toxic than Bridgeport.

  6. Jo Salling, whether they were hired with residency status means absolutely nothing with respect to where that person really lived. We know of white firefighters that lived outside of the city that received residency preference points because their father was a firefighter and in one case the son of Chief Bruce Porzelt in the Bridgeport Fire Department. THAT INDIVIDUAL was on social media proclaiming he lived in Southbury, which is where his father lived, he used the address of a retired firefighter who owns a house in Bridgeport and when this was bought to the attention of recently Arrested Acting Director of the Civil Service David Dunn he did absolutely nothing and in fact the president of the Firebird Society was threatened by officer Coto in the BPD Internal Affairs. This was done under the guidance and the approval of recently Arrested Acting Civil Service Director David Dunn. Jo, if this was done in the BFD you can rest assured that it was done in the BPD. If they ever did an investigation on those individuals that you alluded to you will find that none of them went to nor graduated from a Bridgeport high school! NONE!

    1. Don,
      If what you say really did occur, then I apologize that it was taken so lightly. We have seen Dunn’s true side as of recent. However, in this particular case I assure the people that are leaving are actual home grown Bridgeport residents. Don, you have to understand it’s getting a lot harder to sway people to work in Bridgeport for lower salary, high insurance cost, poor benefits for the sake of having “pride in Bridgeport”. If the city (Government) had pride in Bridgeport they would offer more competitive benefits and working conditions to retain these folks. Again they’re not stupid. Why would anyone work for 67k a year and bust their but with overtime to make $100k+ when other close departments are starting them off at $85-98k+ on base salary with better insurance packages for them and their families. Again, I’m not downplaying that what you say isn’t still happening, I’m almost certain it is, but we do have actual Bridgeport residents who are leaving the city because of the environment. It’s not healthy and something is seriously wrong. How did we go from hiring over 100 new recruits in the last for years and we are almost a 100 people short for the standard workforce. I’m just saying, the city council and the city itself has to look itself in the mirror. If you though 24 homicides last year was bad, just wait until more people keep leaving.

      1. Jo, there’s are plenty of people who want to be a Bridgeport police officer who reside right here in Bridgeport. All the city council has to do is to what Hartford has been doing for years and that is to require new candidates to reside in Bridgeport.

        1. That’s actually false. Hartford does not force anyone to reside in Hartford, they’re another department that’s a mess. It’s actually illegal to force someone to reside in a specific city to work there. You can say they have to live within say 20-40 miles of the department, but you cannot say they have to live in the city because of the employment status. Let’s be real there are slim pickings of qualified candidates with clean backgrounds in Bridgeport that would even pass a background check.

  7. Jo Salling, you are correct that Hartford doesn’t force one to live in the city. What Hartford does do is have two employment lists, one for residents and one for those that live outside of the city. They hire off the resident list 1st until there are no individuals left and then and only then do they hire off the other list. Hartford doesn’t make its employees live in the city, but what it believes is that residents hired Might make the choice to continue to live there while suburbanites will never choose to live in the city.

  8. Don, the city council still don’t get, this post below is 4 years old so there have some change in the members on the council but it’s the same mindset, the numbers of those in not living in the city has gotten worse.

    “Does It Matter Where They Live? 30 Percent Of Uniformed Services Reside In City”
    May 25, 2017 LennieGrimaldi

    About 30 percent of Bridgeport’s 702 public safety officers reside in the city, according to statistics provided by the city for members of police and fire services.

    The number of Bridgeport residents in the Police Department is 121 versus 297 living outside. In the Fire Department 97 members reside in the city, 187 in communities outside. Residency percentage is higher in the Fire Department.

    The topic of residency for uniformed services is sometimes debated in the OIB comments section. Supporters of residency argue that it provides multiple benefits to the city including economic impact through the spending of dollars in Bridgeport as well as a stronger connection to citizens being served. Residing in Bridgeport builds knowledge of community and political activism that drives additional voters to the polls.

    Case in point, when residency was required, the 1973 reelection of Republican Mayor Nicholas Panuzio who was swept back into office by members of uniformed services rallying his proposal for a pension following 20 years of service, better known as 20 and out. The Democratic candidate Bill Mullane argued it would break the bank. A few years later under Mayor John Mandanici, the 25-year policy was restored. Still, it showed the power of the police and fire vote. And other future elections as well.


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