Bridgeport says new police chief doesn't need to have a college degree
Several local organizations are voicing their concerns about the city of Bridgeport's requirements for a new police chief and demanding the city do better.
The Bridgeport Guardians and the NAACP are upset with the city for not requiring its candidates for police chief to have a college degree.
"Come on, come on, come on. We've got to do better," said Pastor William McCullough at the Russell Temple Church in Bridgeport and a member of the local NAACP.
McCullough says he was shocked to learn the next Bridgeport police chief may not have gone to college.
"I was just terrified like this can't be. We can't keep going down this same rabbit hole and doing this same thing," said McCullough.
In the recent job posting on the International Association of Chiefs of Police website, a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree is listed as a preferred qualification.
"We learned nothing from A.J. Perez, right," said McCullough.
Former Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez was the last city chief without a college degree. After serving the city for years, he went to prison as the result of a police chief test cheating scandal.
People like McCullough want to make sure the city makes the right choice in these uncertain times.
"Get on the right side of history and make the change. Do what you need to do to improve our city, man, so that it benefits everybody," said McCullough.
News 12 Connecticut was unable to speak with Mayor Joe Ganim Tuesday for comment. The mayor is expected to decide on the final three police chief candidates in September.
Rebeca Garcia is the acting Bridgeport police chief.
The newly appointed police chief in New Haven just completed his master’s degree.