A day after Mayor Joe Ganim received the names of three finalists to serve as chief of police, the Bridgeport Guardians advocacy organization on behalf of Black police officers is backing Captain Lonnie Blackwell, its current vice president who also has served as president. Guardians leadership has been critical of Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia who they assert disciplines black officers disproportionately.
The Bridgeport Guardians Incorporated are looking forward to having the most qualified chief appointed with advanced education, command level experience, community service and commitment, and police leadership training.
The organization fully supports Captain Lonnie Blackwell because he has attended several police leadership training schools with the FBI and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). He has served as the first Black commander of special services and the Bridgeport Police Regional Training Academy.
Currently, Captain Blackwell is a doctoral candidate who is pursuing his doctorate degree in criminal justice at Northern Central University. He has also served as a professor and mentor at Housatonic Community College, while recruiting several of his students who are currently Bridgeport police officers.
As the former commander of the community service division, Captain Lonnie Blackwell has implemented and spearheaded the first food pantry within the Bridgeport Police Department.
It is for these reasons, we are confident that with his educational background, strong leadership and his ability to lead the Bridgeport Police Department that Captain Lonnie Blackwell will be the best qualified candidate that will be committed to bridging the divide between the community and police, while serving the residents within the City of Bridgeport through 21st century policing.