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Bridgeport’s new police chief will not need a college degree as part of the hiring process

A portion of the Bridgeport Police Station.
Michael Lyle, Jr.
The Bridgeport Police Station.

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim’s office has consulted with the International Association of Chiefs of Police to decide on a candidate for the city's new police chief. They have determined the new chief will not need a college degree to be considered for the job.

They said preference will be given to applicants who are committed to continuing education.

Callie Heilmann, who runs the advocacy group Bridgeport Generation Now, said she is concerned the city will hire a person who doesn’t have the proper level of education for the demanding job.  

“A lot of people in Bridgeport would be and should be concerned,” Heilmann said. “We have a problem in this city of giving some of the highest paid positions to people who are not qualified to be there.”

Both the Ganim administration and the city’s consultant have defended the job description.

The new hire would replace former Chief Armando Perez, who was convicted of rigging the process that landed him the job back in 2019.

Rebeca Garcia has served as the acting police chief since Sept. 10, 2020.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.