The press seems to have the same thing on their mind today regarding the Bridgeport Police Department. Connecticut Post wrote an article today asking “Can Ganim staff talk to the press or is media policy too strict” ( I would link to it but it’s hidden behind their pay wall). Lennie Grimaldi of Only In Bridgeport also wrote “For Ganim, Transparency Must Be The Word During Police Chief Search” (http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/for-ganim-transparency-must-be-the-word-during-police-chief-search/)
Grimaldi feels the chief is camera shy. My experience with her in the past at press conferences was that she always asked me if I need anything like an interview so I don’t think she’s is shy. I believe she is now being directed by the Ganim Administration on what she can say. Last week Ganim, the fire and police chief released a video to announce a high-ranking department official placed on administrative leave following complaint of an alleged sexual assault. It WASN’T a press conference as they wanted the public believe because there was no press present. They wanted to control the message and not answer any questions from the press.
The chief and the administration has been under fire for the way they incompetently handled the Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls cases. Five days ago there was a standoff with a gunman at Fairfield and West Avenue. It was the first time I’ve ever seen Chief Garcia at a crime scene so I thought it must have been a big story. While I was doing a Facebook Live report she walked to her car and I asked her for information on what happened. Her reply was they were still gathering information (https://www.facebook.com/DoingItLocal/videos/700258408022197). In EVERY town the chief would give a brief statement, at least let the public know everything now is safe. On February 18th I asked Scott Appleby who is in charge of the Emergency Communication Center and contact point for press inquiries said “Waiting on final report from Detectives”. That must be a detailed report or more incompetence as I’m still waiting on that report to let our viewers know what happened.
A good starting point would be to hire a real communications person for the state’s largest police force. Every surrounding town has one. Mayor Ganim’s office has three of them! When Ganim returned to office in his first term (after returning from prison) he had a communication person for the police department. Rowena White has been the main contact point for the mayor’s office but I have not communicated with her on the phone since 2020 when she verbally lashed out because she didn’t like my questions. I told her from that point out that she only to communicate with me in written form. It’s her office that now lead with these fake press conferences.
Maybe with a police spokesperson we can find out what robberies happen weekly. I’ve worked hard at getting this information with little results through Scott Appleby office. It’s funny, Joe Ganim said during the campaign against former mayor Bill Finch that Finch said “no bad news until after the election”. Who knew that would be present day policy.
CT Post and OnlyInBridgeport both wrote articles about the police department today. Its not just what I’ve experienced. Grimaldi even pointed out “multiple media outlets have made attempts to interview Garcia, the requests were granted. Entreaties were made to the chief. She was not gagged. She just flat out didn’t want to do them, even with administration-friendly outlets such as News 12”. Again I ask, can we start with a police spokesperson? How about some transparency and let the people know what is happening.