Bridgeport officials criticize union's vote of no confidence in acting police chief

Bridgeport city officials stood by acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia on Thursday, one day after the local police union gave her a vote of no confidence.

News 12 Staff

Mar 11, 2021, 11:24 PM

Updated 1,173 days ago

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Bridgeport city officials stood by acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia on Thursday, one day after the local police union gave her a vote of no confidence.
Representatives of Bridgeport's police union say Garcia has played favorites with overtime and assignments. Local union president Sgt. Brad Seely says those issues culminated in a no confidence vote on Wednesday.
"The members brought forth a number of issues in our last union meeting…54% expressed no confidence in acting Chief Garcia," Seely says.
He says dissatisfaction in the ranks is starting to affect staffing levels.
"In the last six months we lost seven officers, I believe it was about seven officers, to other police department," he says.
However, city officials say they wonder if the union is really speaking for the whole department.
The no confidence vote only represents 25% of the department, while the other 75% voted in favor or elected not to participate.
About half of the union's 354 members took part in the vote. Seely says that's a standard turnout for union matters.
"We see between 50% and 65% that actually vote even for officer positions, things like that," he says.
Bridgeport officials offered their support to the acting chief, saying in part in a statement, "Considering the atmosphere across the country and in the city of Bridgeport, being led by its first female chief, this is a predictable outcome."
Seely strongly denied that Garcia's gender had anything to do with the vote. "Numbers of officers of different ages, sexes and different races showed up to vote,” he says.
Garcia was appointed acting chief after former Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez was arrested for cheating on the police chief exam.
Garcia responded to the no confidence vote with a statement, saying in part, "As acting police chief, I will continue to work diligently on behalf of the officers of the department and our community. My dedication to move the department forward in the right direction for the right reasons will not change."


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