Mayor Garcetti announces launch of the first-ever LAFD Diversity & Inclusion Bureau
[ Article originally appeared in https://lamayor.org ]
Mayor Eric Garcetti, alongside Fire Chief Kristin Crowley, launched the Los Angeles Fire Department’s first-ever Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Bureau (DEI) focused on ensuring a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace for all.
“We believe in, and are committed to, justice in Los Angeles — and we focus an equity lens on every aspect of our work,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “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.”
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Bureau will focus on building and fostering a Department committed to engaging the voices and respecting the humanity of all its members, reflected in how it handles recruitment and hiring, workplace conduct, retention, and promotion. The DEI Bureau will be up and running and fully staffed by January 2023. It will be led by Deputy Chief Stephen Gutierrez, the Department’s first Chief Equity Officer.
In January 2022, Mayor Garcetti appointed Chief Crowley, the first woman to lead the City’s Fire Department. This year, of the more than 6,500 applicants to LAFD, 70% were people of color and nearly 8% of candidates were female, which is double the current percentage of female firefighters within the Department. The Los Angeles Fire Department Girls Camp, which introduces young women between the ages of 14 and18 to career opportunities in the Department, recently resumed operations after a pause during COVID.
"The LAFD is fully committed to creating positive change," said Fire Chief Kristin Crowley. "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. We will maximize our efforts to build and promote a culture where our diversity is truly valued and our work environment is safe and supportive for all.”
Mayor Garcetti has made equity and inclusion a central focus of his agenda since his earliest days at City Hall — from achieving gender parity on the city’s boards and commissions to signing an executive directive to study and advance racial justice and inclusion in every City department and launching L.A. REPAIR (Reforms for Equity and Public Acknowledgment of Institutional Racism), the City’s first and California’s largest-ever participatory budgeting program.
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