New LAFD Class Is Nearly All Male; 20% Have Family Members in the Ranks

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The numbers of new LAFD recruits show small progress toward the mayor's goal of introducing more women and minorities at the department, a goal set last year when the hiring process was halted amid concerns of nepotism and mismanagement. (Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

The first new class of Los Angeles Fire Department recruits since Mayor Eric Garcetti overhauled the city’s firefighter hiring process this year is half white and nearly all male, according to data released Tuesday evening. One in five is related to an LAFD member.

The numbers show small progress toward the mayor’s goal of introducing more women and minorities at the LAFD, a goal set when the hiring process was halted amid concerns of nepotism and mismanagement.

The new class of 43 firefighters, which began training Monday in Panorama City, includes four women and is 49% white, city data show. Thirty-three percent of the recruits are Latino, 7% are Asian American and 12% are African American, according to the figures. Nine have relatives already in uniform.

“This is a good first step,” said Vicki Curry, a spokeswoman for the mayor. “Mayor Garcetti is seeking a system that results in a department that better reflects the city and has the best possible firefighters.”

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