Three Announced As Police Chief Finalists–Garcia, Blackwell, Porter

Lonnie Blackwell
Police Captain Lonnie Blackwell. Photo: Ned Gerard, CT Post

The next chief of police will come from within. The executive search firm hired by the city to shepherd a national process has forwarded the names of three finalists to the Personnel Office and Mayor Joe Ganim–Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia, Captain Lonnie Blackwell and retired Captain Roderick Porter.

All three will have their supporters and detractors in this final phase.

Information flow has been extremely tight in this process 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.

Garcia has served as acting top cop since Perez’s resignation about two years ago. Friction has existed between Garcia and Blackwell who believes she has marginalized him in the department via transfers. He has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and Garcia.

A federal judge recently dismissed a complaint against the city by Porter who asserted he was discriminated against because of race when Perez and Garcia were promoted above him to leadership positions. Porter finished in the top three during the last police chief search four years ago.

Roderick Porter, Photo: Bailey Wright / For Hearst Connecticut Media

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.

Former Acting New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez finished in the top three but has taken a position with another Connecticut police department. That move elevated Porter to the third position.

The internal politics of the Police Department is a soap opera on steroids. Garcia critics view her as a rigid disciplinarian who metes out sanctions unevenly against Black officers and remains insensitive to community engagement. Her supporters argue she plays fair damn the political consequences, especially after the 2018 test rigging. She’s not involved in city politics.

Blackwell supporters say of the three he beholds the most community outreach.

Porter has impressed in the last two chief searches finishing in the top three. He arguably maintains the lowest profile among the three.

As Ganim ponders his selection, the three finalists will be introduced to the community following a 30-day appeal period pursuant to the Civil Service requirements of the Bridgeport City Charter, according to a city news release.

“Mayor Ganim will announce in the coming weeks a public process that will unfold following the 30-day appeal period, which will include community, stakeholder, City Council, and administration input prior to his final selection.”

September, 2020, Ganim issues oath to Rebeca Garcia.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) retained by the city to supervise the search received 27 applications, 19 candidates made the cut for the second phase.

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.

Ganim is likely about two months away from announcing his selection.

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23 comments

  1. Thank God! Now I don’t have to spend so much time listening via the city’s building sewage drain pipes. And Lennie complains about the slow flow of information.

    I’m eager to hear Jose Reyes’ and Vagabond’s take on this turn of events.

    Here’s one more Breaking rumor:
    Drain pipe leaks have revealed that mayor Joe Ganim wasn’t able to find his race card before leaving his home to go to work early this morning. The mayor was positive he had the race card in his wallet and is not sure if it was lost, misplaced, or stolen. The card is non-replaceable and is issued once every term. For obvious reason, Joe Ganim decided not to file a police report regarding the missing race card.

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    1. Joel,
      So did you notice by the article that there was no mention of Blackwell except to say he was one of the finalists. Red flag for me especially with what I posted yesterday. Basically a two horse race between Garcia and Porter. Don’t have an issue with either one of them being selected. The question will be how will Mr. Mackey react if Porter is not selected? Will he cry foul again? After all this selection process was kept more secret than the X-Files. The final question we must ask is which minority group Little Joey will pander to when he makes his selection? The answer is the group that will cast the most votes for his reelection. So unfortunately things don’t change in Shitport as politics always rear its ugly head. It will not matter how great a job Garcia or Porter are capable of doing, both will be at the mercy of Little Joey. And if by some long shot Blackwell is selected then he selects someone with a questionable police career as well as checkered pre-police Officer past as well. Only in Bridgeport.

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      1. That’s where you are wrong Jose, things are changing in Shitport. 🙂 If it wasn’t you would see your “strong white candidate”. 🙂

        That being said, when was any mayor/elected official decision not political?

        The way this played out it does have the conspiracy of X files. Throwing/forcing out a “strong white chief” 🙂 and choosing for a minority, (brown) would have been seen as progress in the battle against white supremacy, right JML?

        But AJ (brown) was Joe’s wine stashing compadre, who was caught cheating on the test that raised questions as to why Porter (black) was overlooked.

        The revelation of Porter making the top three only after Dominguez took another job suggests Porter came in 4th and both Blackwell and Garica did beater on the test, assuming no cheating scandal. 🙂

        You would have to think Porter is a better black candidate than Blackwell overall, but it has to divide the black sentiment/support in choosing one over the other. Being Porter has retired ( I believe) from the department, If so not choosing him less significates than Blackwell who is still a cast member in the ” soap opera on steroids” that is the BPD.

        Outside of Black Guardians/NAACP calling out Garcia’s racist treatment of not Latino officers, it is harder to stand by, and say any “black” candidate, Porter or Blackwell is better than the racist Latino woman who currently holds the seat. That dumb beat will not play well as if it was a “strong white” person. 🙂

        My prediction in this battle, is status quo, Garcia/brown/Latino/woman/current chief.
        Loser “White Supremacy” Well done, JML 🤣

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfobiCq0YUc

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        1. Perhaps, but you have to say the status quo would be less of a loss. He already took a hit with Garcia. What changes other than she goes from acting chief to the permanent chief? SJ

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    2. Well, it’s official… There’s only one who hasn’t sued the city, right? Rebeca sure appears to be the safest bet now. It’ll be more of of the same I guess.

      On behalf of the honest cops of Bridgeport (and citizens too), I was hopeful about someone dynamic and new.

      Maybe the question is… Why would someone dynamic, smart and talented want to insert themselves into a nearly impossible job?

      Good luck to the next Chief.

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  2. Well, speedy, it now looks like:
    There’s a 66% chance of the chief is going to be black.
    There’s a 66% chance of the chief is going to be a male
    And There’s a 100% guarantee the chief is going to be black or brown.

    JML, where does this fall in the battle against America’s White Supremacy? 😂

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  3. Ready to have your ‘race theory’ fall apart? Don’t worry JML will comfort you RT. You obviously didn’t pay attention to the IACP website. Look at the names and color of the skin of IACP members/team. Don’t they look like a bunch of White Supremacy members? I’ve never seen so many former “strong white candidates” with PHDs. Those are the people who vetted 27 applicants and selected 4 minorities as finalists for Bridgeport Police Chief. Go sit down but, before shove your race card up your culo. Ouch! I bet that hurt more than cutting off a digit.

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    1. WOW! Speedy. 🙂

      What are you saying? White People within the IACP can’t vet 27 applicants and select 4 minorities as finalists? It seems your damn if you do and damns if you don’t, based on whiteness, seems racist. However, I wouldn’t know if shoving my race card up my Culo would hurt more than cutting off a digit, never cut a digit off. Jokes on you, my Culo is where I keep my race card, and I am going to need my digit to pull it out. 😂

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  4. “But AJ (brown) was Joe’s wine stashing compadre, who was caught cheating on the test that raised questions as to why Porter (black) was overlooked.”

    As I recall, it was Casanova (Puerto Rican) who was “overlooked”. Casanova (Puerto Rican) did not file a lawsuit against anyone.

    Talking about lawsuits, about 7 years ago, I submitted a bid for a so called City owned property (247 Colorado Avenue). I had to sign a contract and pertaining documents and agree to certain terms and conditions.
    One condition that stuck out was that I had no lawsuits against the City of Bridgeport. The answer was No. So that didn’t apply to me and I purchased it. The rest of the story is a true Only in Bridgeport one.

    What makes it okay to hire people applying for employment where a contract is required, despite having filed a lawsuit against the City of Bridgeport? Different strokes for different folks.

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    1. Speedy, that’s your racial blindness speaking, Perhaps, Casanova (Brown) was overlooked by some in the brown community, but to the Black community, it was Porter who was overlooked by G2’s wine stashing compadre, AJ (brown). JS

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      1. No it your stupidity talking. You’re comparing two different testing and vetting processes. One was the David Dunn/Tom McCarthy/Bill Finch way, that was in part still practice when Ganim came back in 2016 and AJ eventually got the job. The other one is the IACP method currently being dissected.

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        1. There’s no need to dissect the old vetting and selection process–that’s history! The IACP process is obviously different. In order to dissect we need the whole body. Since this process is veiled in secrecy a good dissection is impossible. However, the reason why minorities did better than whites can be theorized and or explained if this veil is removed. Could this be the reason why the veil is placed? Yes. I’m confident in my ability to ‘cut’ through the chase. Does this company have a patent to a process? These kinds of topics are not for the ignorant let alone for the gullorant.

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          1. You are the one who brought up the old vetting and selection process, Casanova. Porter is on this current list.

            What Viel of Secrecy, to not have a white person on the top three list. The job was to search, test applicants, and select three. It was/is a very political process and racism is part of the current political environment. I mean you pulled out your race card based on the veil of secrecy that lead to 4 minorities topping the list. 🙂

            No veil, Joe is “white” and it is close to an election year. You yourself claimed Joe will have a political fire if a (brown) is not picked. The same sentiment can be said for for the black community if a (black) person is not chosen Or at the very least, part of the political rhetoric in the upcoming political race for mayor, Joe being “white” JS

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        2. I am comparing Casanova (Brown) and Porter Black who was overlooked by G2 for AJ (wine stashing compadre)

          You who are brown are saying it was Casanova, (Brown) I am saying for those in the black community it was Porter ( black) who was overlooked. Nothing stupid about that. JS

          With regards to your racist charge on the IACP being that “they look like a bunch of White Supremacy members”, besides the black one in the press leading the search the end results were black males and one brown woman. If that going to be your racist race card, wherever you pull it out from, that’s stupidity. JS

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          1. You are one stupid PRICK. Look again at what I wrote. Oh, I forgot, PRICKS have one eye and can’t see question marks.

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    2. A subject I have previously raised, without contradiction or controversy, is the way that employees of the City seem to have no personnel process as of right to participate with their supervisor on a regular, timely basis to understand how they may improve their work for the benefit of the taxpayer and their opportunity to advance and to comment on what they see or what concerns them. If true, what is their alternative? In some cases patience is cautioned, in others a suit is a right (and likely an expense.)
      Is filing a single claim against the City a right? Seems that it is and assuming it is not frivolous, perhaps it may be the only way to get on with life, career, and special discomforts.
      How many claims are on file at this time for the City to defend? How many have to do with worksite issues? Could a review of employment process create a healthier situation? Anyone with some experience in this? Time will tell.

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  5. Yesterday I posted on the previous Police Chief selection thread as 25th wondering if “today is the day”. And it was. IAPC did what it was assigned to do. Three candidate names have been submitted to Ganim2. He will ultimately make his choice and readers will once again write on this subject.
    But do we know how reduced are the numbers serving in the Police Department today? What are the results of all recent attempts to fill classes with candidates who will serve in Bridgeport when they finish? When will City communications authorize the posting of the same data that goes to FBI regularly? Why do OPINIONS of public safety not have current reliable data to put minds at ease? When the Mayor appoints a permanent Chief for PD, will he then look at the subject of boards and commissions? How long should such groups have a place on the Boards website when they have NO CURRENT MEMBERS and do not meet? Why do some folks remain on Boards for more than 15 years without a check on tenure and no additional training, when there are other citizens willing to serve? Time will tell.

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  6. I sure would like to know how much the IACP charged city tax payers to conduct a nationwide search for the Chief of Police only to have the three finalists all come from the department. Doesn’t the City have a new Civil Service director with integrity? Could have saved tax payers a ton of cash and come out with the same results. Also Lennie would be nice if you could get the list of all who applied to see if there were candidates from across the nation.

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    1. I don’t know who all of them are. I Got a lead on who was number 5. From Waterbury P.D. (retired) recently working with the States Attorney I believe. Just about all the ones I heard mentioned were from Connecticut. I heard a total of six (6) names.

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  7. It’s mighty funny that Garcia was appointed illegally as the Assistant Chief and had Perez not have been arrested the judge would have ordered she be immediately removed from her illegally appointed Assistant Chief position. Guess this is Bridgeport Politics. Why after the national embarrassment of the last last police chief search did the city no follow IACP’s minimum educational requirement. Because I went to IACP and almost every Chief’s test require a Bachelors with a Masters preferred. Bridgeport was the only one to accept police experience with preferred education. The citizens of this city deserve better and unfortunately Garcia is one of the top 3, a women with only an Associates degree who can’t apply to any other police department in the country but is allowed to compete for the largest city in the states top cop job?

    This may be an even bigger scandal than The United States V Perez & Dunn.

    This is crazy!!!

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