The media blackout on crime news has provided easy fodder for Finch’s rivals in the race for mayor this year.
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.