Mayor Joseph P. Ganim
For Immediate Release
January 25, 2022
Mayor Ganim Announces Initiation of the Examination for City of Bridgeport Police Chief
Bridgeport – Mayor Joe Ganim announced today that he has provided a signed letter to the Personnel Director, Eric Amado, that will initiate an open and competitive civil service examination for the hiring of a Chief of Police for the City of Bridgeport for a five (5) year term appointment pursuant to Bridgeport City Charter.
Since no employment list currently exists for the position of Chief of Police, the Charter instructs the Personnel Director to administer an open and competitive exam and to certify the top (3) candidates to the Mayor within 150 days.
Personnel Director Eric Amado stated that he is “committed to administering an examination for Chief of Police that is transparent to the public, conducted in a professional manner, fair to all candidates, adheres to the Charter and all applicable law, has a nationwide reach, and yields the best candidate for the position.”
- The Personnel Director will hire an expert recruitment and psychometric firm that will assist the Office of Civil Service administer the open and competitive examination.
- Together, the Personnel Director and expert firm will:
- Conduct meetings with community stakeholders, members of the City Council, and City staff to ensure that the job analysis and job description represents the qualifications, experience, and skills appropriate for service as a present-day urban police chief;
- Conduct a nationwide search that includes advertisement and recruitment throughout the United States;
- Design and administer a fair, open, and competitive examination to candidates that apply and meet the qualifications.
- Within one hundred fifty (150) days, the Personnel Director will certify the top three (3) names to the Mayor.
- The Mayor will announce a process involving public and stakeholder input that will aid him in vetting the top three (3) candidates.
- Within sixty (60) days of receipt of the top three (3) candidates, the Mayor will appoint one of them to be the Chief of Police and notify the Office of Civil Service, Board of Police Commissioners, and the public of said appointment.
- Upon appointment of a Chief of Police, the terms of his/her five (5) year appointment will be referred to the City Council for consideration and approval.
The Examination for Police Chief will be open to a nationwide search when the planning stages of the selection process have all been appropriately finalized. The City encourages all qualified candidates to apply.
Reference: Charter Provision Chapter 13 Section 4 attached.
City Charter Provisions
CHAPTER 13 – POLICE
Section 4. - Chief of Police.
(a) The head of the department shall be a Chief of Police selected pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(b) The chief of police shall be in the classified service and be selected pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 17 of the charter except as follows:
(1) The chief of police shall, at a minimum, be experienced in urban law enforcement, including supervisory experience in the operations and management of a law enforcement agency. Nothing in this Section shall preclude the civil service commission from establishing greater qualifications for the position of chief of police, provided that such qualifications shall not include a requirement of prior service on the Bridgeport Police Department. Any qualification so adopted shall be based solely on the knowledge, skills and experience required for the position and not on the attainment of any rank or ranks.
(2) The examination for the position of Chief of police shall be open to any person possessing the minimum qualifications established for such position regardless of whether the applicant is currently or has ever been an employee of the city of Bridgeport. The examination shall be open and competitive and shall not be promotional.
(3) Whenever a vacancy arises in the position of chief of police, the personnel director shall, upon request, certify to the mayor the names of the three (3) candidates standing highest upon the employment list for such position. If no such list exists, the personnel director shall, within 150 days of the request, hold a test for such position and shall, upon the establishment of an employment list, certify to the mayor the names of the three persons standing highest thereon.
(4) Within sixty (60) days of receipt of the certification required by subSection (a)(3) of this section, the mayor shall appoint one (1) of the persons so certified as the Chief of police and shall notify the Civil Service Commission and the Board of Police Commissioners of such appointment. The mayor may designate the time when such appointment shall take effect, provided it shall not be more than ninety (90) days from the date of his receipt of the personnel director's certification. Unless otherwise stated such appointment shall be effective immediately. In the event that the mayor fails to appoint a chief of police within sixty days of receipt of said certification, the board of police commissioners shall, forthwith, make such appointment.
(5) The person so appointed shall hold office for a term of five (5) years from the effective date of his appointment but may be removed for just cause. A person holding the position of Chief of police may, only within 150 days of the end of each term, be reappointed by the mayor for one additional term of five (5) years, effective upon the expiration of the chief's current term, without the need for further examination or testing. Not later than 180 days prior to the expiration of such term the board of police commissioners shall, by majority vote, advise the mayor whether the chief should be reappointed and shall specify the reasons for its recommendation. The vote and advise of the board of police commissioners shall be advisory only and is not binding.
(6) Any provisions of this charter to the contrary notwithstanding, no person shall serve as chief of police for more than ten (10) years not including any time served in an acting capacity.
(7) Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of Chief of police, the mayor may appoint a member of the Bridgeport Police Department as the acting Chief of police. The person so appointed shall possess all of the qualifications established for the position of Chief of police. Any provision of this charter to the contrary notwithstanding, the person so appointed may serve as acting Chief of police until the position is filled as provided in this section.