News release from Mayor’s Office:
Today, Mayor Ganim announced new leadership in the Bridgeport Police Department. Following an extensive search and selection process that was led by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Mayor Ganim was pleased to announce that Roderick Porter will serve as the City of Bridgeport’s Chief of Police.
Mayor Ganim stated, “I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to everyone who took part in the process. Although it was lengthy and demanding, I found it beneficial to listen to and observe these three top candidates discuss their backgrounds, character attributes, and goals for the City of Bridgeport. This was not an easy decision, but I appreciate Acting Chief Garcia and Captain Blackwell and give them my utmost respect and gratitude; because of them our department is in a far better place than it was just two years ago. Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia stepped up during a challenging period for the department. She has put in numerous hours over the past two years and has always supported the Police Department. Thank you to Captain Lonnie Blackwell for completing the difficult search and selection process. For the past 22 years, Captain Blackwell has been former division commander for community service and has a great relationship with the community. Looking forward to the next five years, I tried to find the most suitable and the ideal person to lead the department, I have no doubts that Chief Porter is the best candidate to lead the Bridgeport Police Department. Chief Porter has assured me that as part of his job he will create the opportunity to focus inside the department as well as outside in our neighborhoods. He will ensure that Bridgeport has the finest police force and that it becomes the safest City in Connecticut, led by the most qualified Chief of Police.”
Chief Roderick Porter has thirty-six years of Law Enforcement experience, thirty of which he served in Bridgeport Police Department. He rose through the ranks and became a Captain in 2007, a position he held until his retirement in June 2022. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Studies at Post University, a teacher and social worker with Horizons Sacred Heart, and a substitute teacher in the Bridgeport Public Schools.
Porter has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Springfield College. He earned degrees from the Harvard University Police Executive Research Forum, the Sacred Heart University Command Institute, the Tunxis Community College Police Leadership Institute, and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He has also completed numerous professional development and training programs including two FBI LEEDA Sessions. Porter has finished researching and writing his master’s thesis on the causes and effects of urban youth crime and violence. All of his accomplishments have prepared him for his acceptance into the Doctor of Human Service and Leadership degree at Capella University.
Chief Roderick Porter stated “I would like to first thank my family and close friends who have supported me through my professional endeavors. Without them, I could have never come this far, particularly my wife Nicole, my son Rod, and my late mother Dorothy Porter. Also, thank you to Mayor Ganim and his team for selecting me and entrusting me in this most important position. I would also like to acknowledge the other candidates, particularly Rebeca Garcia and Lonnie Blackwell. This was an extremely professional and tough selection process and I applaud everyone who participated. This is an important and exciting time in law enforcement in the City of Bridgeport and we can shape the future of policing in the city that reflects the values and priorities of a twenty-first century policing model. We can only accomplish this if we come together collectively within the department and with our community partners in an inclusive, engaging manner.”
Mayor Ganim will swear in Captain Roderick Porter as Bridgeport’s Chief of Police at a public ceremony that will be hosted in the City Council Chambers on Thursday, December 1st at 5:00pm
News release from NAACP:
The Greater Bridgeport National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (GBNAACP) wholly supports Mayor Ganim’s decision to hire Retired Captain Roderick Porter as its new chief of police.
Reverend D Stanley Lord, president of the GBNAACP, cites that the Bridgeport police, the city’s leadership, and all its residents are best served by the selection of the best candidate in the field of eligible public servants for Roderick Porter, a 30-year veteran, and now the top law enforcement officer for the City of Bridgeport.
“We believe this has been an equitable process for the City of Bridgeport and the protection, service, and futures for all of its diverse taxpayers, families, and businesses,” Lord said. “He is fully committed and responsible for ensuring the quality and respect of human life are his top priority.”
The GBNAACP has expressed ongoing concerns over the hiring and retention actions of the city and its police department. Lord said that these issues have been at the forefront of decisions made most often without consideration for the true complexion of this community. “For the racial and gender makeup of the city, we have lacked seeing key law enforcement leadership that looks like and represents the city’s true demographics; what Bridgeport looks like.”
The GBNAACP has long cited that the Bridgeport Police Department–with its uniformed officers, undercover teams, investigators, and administrative team–is charged with keeping the peace, serving our needs, and supporting safety and laws fairly and without bias. Reverend Lord added that too often, people here have not felt that was true. “We will hold Captain Porter to that commitment as his service moves forward,” he said. “We look forward to supporting him to accomplish a mission that supports those goals for more diversity, inclusion, and equity for the community and the teams of law enforcement professionals that he now leads. We wish him all the best in doing so.”
The GBNAACP is looking onward and upward now that this selection process is complete, we look forward to a progressive stance and a wide scope of engagement with Captain Porter at the helm.