CTPOST dot com have run this article..which made me take a second look and even giggle..like we really have no idea whats going on every where in the world right now..How can official’s really think we are that stupid..wait a minute ? 3/4 of you sleepers are stupid enough to believe this shit!
My favourite line is..people have lost faith in the police..well no shit Sherlock! lmao!
BRIDGEPORT — There is no crime in the Park City — at least until after the mayoral election.
Senior police officers confirm they have been ordered — with the edict coming from City Hall — to keep news about crime in the city from getting out to the media.
“The mayor is putting out the message as part of his campaign that things are getting better under his administration, that violent crime is down thanks to his efforts and he doesn’t want anyone making waves,” said a City Hall insider.
Police sources point out, however, that in fact violent crime is on the rise, with double the number of shootings and homicides this year over last. There have been 10 slayings so far this year in Bridgeport; there were five at this time in 2014.
Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett said Friday no order to withhold information was given to anyone.
Police spokesman William Kaempffer, a former New Haven Register reporter, had been vigilant in emailing daily news releases detailing criminal investigations and car accidents in the city, but that ended several weeks ago and the mayor’s civilian spokesman, Brett Broesder, announced that all police information would be coming through him.
But the last police news release involved the mayor’s spin on the fatal shooting in the Trumbull Gardens housing project — just before Finch formally announced his intention to run for re-election.
Public’s right to know
There is a question about whether the Finch administration’s efforts to keep police information out of the media could actually be hindering investigations.
Professors Joshua Chanin and Salvador Espinosa, of San Diego State University, recently conducted a study of transparency in 300 city and county police departments in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo., and other police-related deaths in Baltimore and New York City.
“The benefits of an open, transparent public organization are well-known,” they point out in their study. “This includes the police. Public access to information about how law enforcement agencies make key organizational decisions and the outcomes of those decisions has the potential to increase public and organizational accountability, encourage citizen engagement and promote trust between the police and the communities they serve.
“These potential benefits resonate loudly today, when so many Americans have lost confidence in the police to do their jobs within the bounds of the law.”
But even when police do their jobs, there can be political fallout.
Police in Bridgeport and Stamford have been investigating a rash of gunpoint stickups by one man.
Local detectives managed to get video of one of the stickups and sent it to local media to air, and as a result a suspect matching the image on the video was arrested by Stamford police.
But instead of being hailed for his efforts to catch the criminal, Bridgeport police Capt. Armando “A.J.” Perez was dressed down by Gaudett for going to the media, according to several police sources. Perez — who was Joseph P. Ganim’s assigned driver during the Ganim mayoral administration — declined to comment.
Police sources said they have been turned down by the mayor’s office when they have tried to send out video from other crime scenes to the media.
The media blackout on crime news has provided easy fodder for Finch’s rivals in the race for mayor this year.
“That’s just outrageous,” said Ganim, a Democratic mayoral candidate and ex-convict, who has been endorsed by the police union. “That borders on the obstruction of justice and needs to be addressed immediately. It’s not enough that the Finch administration has allowed police manpower levels to drop to emergency levels, but now they are trying to stop information from getting out that could help lower crime.”
“I’m not surprised,” said mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster. “The Finch administration is the least transparent administration I can remember. They only want to put out the news they want out. There are so many tales of people who got written up in City Hall because they haven’t followed the Finch script.”
City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez, who represents the city’s East Side, said she wasn’t aware the mayor’s office has been withholding information about crime, but agrees that it is a problem.
“Everyone in the community needs to know if there is particular crime problem in their community,” she said. “They need to know to protect themselves if there have been more burglaries or robberies, for instance. We are all told that if we see something we should say something, but what good does that do if no one is being made aware of what we are seeing?”
Freedom of Information
While there are fewer news releases and little information getting out on local crimes, there are numerous publicity-seeking releases from Broesder promoting Finch’s visits to local businesses and neighborhoods — all with much fanfare.
Meanwhile, copies of police reports for years left in the lobby of the Police Department for media review have completely disappeared.
Gaudett claims they were removed months ago after officers began filing their reports by computer. But computer reports have not been made available, either, which is common at some police departments.
Other progressive and professionally run police departments in the region also routinely send out news releases, and Hearst Connecticut Media regularly receives releases from the state police, New Haven, Ansonia, Shelton, Hamden and Westport police, often with photos and video.
In fact, Milford police post the daily crime blotter online — every day, with all the details.
But getting crucial and helpful information to the public is evidently not a priority for Bridgeport City Attorney Mark Anastasi: “We have no obligation to generate press releases,” he said bluntly in a Friday interview.
Anastasi’s stance is in stark contrast to the findings of the California police-transparency study that followed in the wake of the Ferguson and Baltimore riots.
And Finch himself often uses the word “transparency” when calling for more honesty and openness in government.
Starting Oct. 1, a new state law does take effect requiring police departments to provide the media and public with information about arrests, which Anastasi acknowledged could be construed to include releases.
“But up until then we are required to disclose the record of arrest, and that is defined as the name and address of the person arrested, the date of the arrest and the charges, and that’s it,” he said.
But even that information has not been available from police in recent weeks — particularly since the election has heated up, with Ganim showboating at crime scenes.
In a letter to Hearst Connecticut Media on Feb. 22., Gaudett wrote: “Bridgeport is a safer place than at any time since I began my career 31 years ago. And the Police Department is preparing to announce 2014 crime statistics that will reflect yet another significant decrease in crime in our city.”
The city never released that data and has refused to release any police statistics to Hearst reporters, despite repeated requests.
Earlier this month, a Hearst reporter sent a Freedom of Information request asking for police statistics for 2014 and the first half of 2015.
The chief and top commanders discuss the numbers at weekly meetings, and they are readily shared among the top brass.
New York City, which has the largest police department in the nation, regularly posts weekly police statistics online for the public to see.
But there was a hint Saturday morning that the Finch administration was beginning to open up on releasing police news, following a community forum in Black Rock on crime.
At about 10 a.m., Broesder sent a detailed news release on the death of a man after a fight at Chubby’s bar and grill earlier that day.
The full story is in today’s paper and at ctpost.com