BRIDGEPORT, Conn – Mayor Bill Finch has announced a new list of police recruits, saying the city is hiring 100 new police officers.
“We worked hard to find not only the best people and also people who reflect the diversity of our great city,” said Finch in a press release. “I’m proud of the work by our recruitment team. They were out in the community and worked with the community. That is another example of how Bridgeport is getting better by working together every day.”
The city expects to hire, train and deploy 100 new officers in the next 18-24 months. Finch announced the city has received a civil service list of 762 qualified candidates. The city will move forward with background checks, polygraph tests, physicals and other requirements with a goal of seating a first academy class this fall, according to a press release.
For the first time, the city asked community members to sit on the three-person panels that helped select the candidate list. Each panel included one city official, one ranking police officer and one community member.
“Bridgeport is a very diverse and inclusive community so we wanted diverse and inclusive panels to conduct the interviews. That is why we invited community members to participate in the interview process,” said Finch in a press release. “Bridgeport already has one of the most diverse police departments in the state, but we wanted to set the bar even higher.”
“I think this is a big improvement over past performances, and there was a concerted effort by the city, for the vetting process, to see to it that Bridgeport candidates were well represented,” said Ted Meekins, chairman of the East End Community Council, who served on a panel, in a press release. “As we know, this is a step but a major step. First was the recruiting, then it was the testing, then it’s background checks, then there’s a class that will go into the academy. We’re glad to see that it will be a mixed class with black and Hispanic candidates. What we’re looking at now are opportunities that weren’t there before, and we want every candidate to take full advantage of their opportunity.”
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