Report Calls for Overhaul in LAFD Hiring

A new study calls for the hiring process of firefighters at the Los Angeles Fire Department needing another overhaul, reports The Los Angeles Times.

The 150-page report, prepared for the city by experts at the Rand Corp., features a series of proposals to fix a hiring system Mayor Eric Garcetti rebooted last year amid concerns of nepotism and mismanagement.

City officials should step up spending on the recruitment of qualified women and minorities and develop new ways of ranking candidates to winnow the pool of thousands of applicants seeking coveted firefighting jobs, according to the report.

“Improving the diversity of the LAFD will require a long-term and carefully targeted outreach and recruiting campaign,” the report said, singling out female athletes and minority valedictorians at local high schools for increased attention.

Last March, the mayor halted LAFD hiring after The Times reported that thousands of candidates were excluded because their paperwork wasn’t received in the first 60 seconds of a filing period. Many applicants said they had no idea mere seconds would determine which candidates would advance.

Nearly one-third of the 70 recruits eventually hired in that round were related to LAFD firefighters, and the group’s makeup was overwhelmingly white. It included only one woman, who later dropped out.

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