Mayor Halts ‘Fatally Flawed’ LAFD Hiring Process, Vows Reform
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday a halt to what he called a “fatally flawed” recruiting process for the Los Angeles Fire Department and pledged further reform efforts.
Garcetti made his determination after discovering that Fire Department staff organized special recruiting workshops for LAFD insiders, according to the mayor’s office.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports the process resulted in the Fire Academy class containing a disproportionate amount of recruits related to LAFD staff, some of whom were related to senior managers with oversight over the recruitment and training process.
Department officials also considered only applications received within a 60-second time period, according to the mayor’s office.
As a result of the move, the next scheduled Fire Academy class of approximately 70 cadets will not be held, and no more hiring will be made from the current civil service list, Garcetti said.
“I have determined that the fire department’s recruiting process is fatally flawed,” said Garcetti in a statement. “Reforming the fire department is a key part of my back to basics agenda, and the integrity of its recruiting process is vital to ensuring the department responds quickly, is technologically advanced, and reflects the city it serves in the future.
Officials say a new recruiting process will begin after an initial three-month review by RAND Corporation, with hiring to take place within the coming fiscal year.
Earlier this month, Garcetti and the Fire Commission ordered an independent investigation into the Department’s recruiting and hiring process following comments from the mayor criticizing the ethnic and gender make-up of the LAFD’s mostly white candidate pool.