Community Speaks Out at Police Chief Forums
Residents to City: "Keep politics out of Bridgeport police chief search."
BRIDGEPORT – Monday, June 6th. On Thursday and Friday of last week, the City – in coordination with the International Association of Chiefs of Police search firm – held two community forums to hear from residents about their public safety concerns and vision for a new Chief of Police. Unfortunately, the forums were not well-attended because the City put out a press release at 3:00pm on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, giving residents less than 5 days notice to make plans to attend.
From the CT Post: The overall message at Thursday’s event was there is a need for a chief — whether an outsider or an individual who has worked their way up the ranks in Bridgeport — to reform the culture within the force, crack down on the bad actors, and work hard to be honest, transparent and win back the community’s trust.
Over the past few years Bridgeport’s department has been buffeted by controversies: Cops accused of excessive force; allegations of racism; internal power struggles and racial divisions; and problems recruiting and retaining officers.
“We have been traumatized by a chief and department that functions on political motivation,” said Gemeem Davis, a head of the Bridgeport Generation Now civic group, Thursday.
“Some of these officers ride around like they’re thugs,” said Davis.
Resident Chinedum Nnodum recalled an incident where he saw an officer strike a young man, seemingly without provocation. He said that creates distrust.
“Are we going to get a chief who is going to hold his officers accountable?” Nnodum said.
💥💥 If you missed the first two, there will be a 3rd forum on Monday, June 13th at 6:00pm at Central High School in the auditorium! And if you haven’t yet, please complete the online survey 💥💥
At Thursday’s forum, we presented our demands for a high-quality, transparent search process, that includes:
We also presented the following qualifications, values, and priorities that Bridgeport deserves the next Chief, informed by our years of research, organizing, and members’ priorities. We want a Chief who: