BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — In an effort to improve media and public access to Bridgeport Police Department information, the city named an interim public safety spokesman Monday.
Kevin Coughlin, who often attends Mayor Bill Finch’s press events as a temporary part-time member of the city's communications team, will be serving as a temporary replacement for longtime spokesman Bill Kaempffer, according to a statement from Brett Broesder, the city’s communications director and spokesman.
Kaempffer is on leave and has been working in a limited capacity for the past couple of months due to a personal medical issue, the mayor’s office said, citing reports from Doingitlocal.com and the Connecticut Post.
Lately, Broesder has been sending statements to media regarding police matters. The Connecticut Post questioned this transition earlier this week.
The Post said Kaempffer had previously emailed police information to the media, but the “mayor’s civilian spokesman, Brett Broesder, announced that all police information would be coming through him.”
When reached by The Daily Voice by phone late Monday afternoon, Broesder made it clear that Kaempffer was not a police officer. Although Kaempffer specialized in police communications, he worked in a general communications role for the city of Bridgeport, Broesder said.
Just a day after the Post story appeared, Coughlin sent a statement to the media detailing Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr.’s “three-pronged plan for enhancing media access to information from the Bridgeport Police Department.”
In addition to Coughlin’s hiring, Gaudett issued an order to the police’s records department to make police report information available on a daily basis, following all protection rights for victims and redactions required by law. The chief also said he plans to hold a weekly press briefing at police headquarters regarding crime statistics.
In taking on the role of interim public safety spokesman, Coughlin will serve as a primary media contact for issues in the state’s largest city surrounding police, fire, and emergency management, Broesder said.
“He’s filling a tough role, but after working with Kevin, I believe he’s up for the job of ensuring the press continues getting the information they need regarding public safety,” Gaudett said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.