Bridgeport's Police Chief Steps Down; Takes New Job As City Consultant
The police chief of Connecticut’s largest city is stepping down and taking a pay cut of almost $20,000 a year. Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett resigned on Tuesday. Gaudett’s new job will be as an independent contractor in a newly created consultant position.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim was open about wanting to replace Gaudett. Former Mayor Bill Finch promoted Gaudett to chief in 2009, then renewed his contract in December as one of his last acts in office. That contract had kept Gaudett in place while Ganim looked for ways to replace him.
A spokesman for the mayor said the move is a way to put a new chief in place and still have Gaudett serve the city in some capacity. Officials say this will be cheaper than the other option, which was buying out the rest of Gaudett’s five-year contract.
It could have also led to legal action. In the 1980s, Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Walsh sued the city and was reinstated after he was forced into retirement.
Gaudett’s new salary is expected to be $125,000 a year, and that’s down from the $144,000 annual salary for a Bridgeport police chief. In his new job, Gaudett’s expected to oversee all the city’s emergency communications, and to train dispatchers. According to his job description, one of his main goals will be to find ways to improve response time to public safety emergencies.