The Los Angeles Fire Department launched its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bureau on Tuesday, Nov. 22, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Fire Chief Kristin Crowley announced.
The bureau, which is expected to be operational next month, will focus on a commitment to “engaging the voices and respecting the humanity of its members” that includes “how it handles recruitment and hiring, workplace conduct, retention and promotion,” according to Garcetti’s office.
“We believe in, and are committed to, justice in Los Angeles — and we focus an equity lens on every aspect of our work,” Garcetti said. “The Bureau of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will help to ensure that our progress is permanent and we’re always moving forward with a city government and institutions that reflect and value our diversity.”
According to Garcetti’s office, 70% of this year’s more than 6,500 applicants to the fire department were people of color, and 8% were women. That figure is double the current amount of female firefighters.
Deputy Chief Stephen Gutierrez will serve as the department’s first chief equity officer.
“The LAFD is fully committed to creating positive change,” said Crowley, the first woman to lead the fire department. “With the new DEI Bureau, the department will develop and drive forward key diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and initiatives to enhance the LAFD’s work environment and performance.”