Proposed Legislation May Not Address the Lack of Diversity in The FDNY

New York State Assembly member Hakeem Jeffries and State Senator Eric Adams recently introduced a bill in Albany that touches upon, and tries to resolve once for all, an ingrain issue in the New York City Fire Department: Its lack of diversity.

This time they are hoping to solve what they see as the problem – a firefighting force that is 91-percent white. Instead of instituting quotas for minority hiring or changing the applicant’s test, the proposed legislation will require new entry-level firefighters to be residents of one of the five boroughs for one year prior to appointment and a city resident thereafter. Currently city firefighters can reside in one of the five boroughs or in the New York counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Orange or Putnam.

Lieutenant George Ricco Diaz, President of the Hispanic Society for the Fire Department, and a firefighter for more than 20 years, disagrees with the legislators, even thought the proposed bill might help minority applicants to become one of The Bravest.

Audio Clips:

Lt. Diaz explains his personal view about the proposed legislation.[audio:|titles=Legislation Is Unfair.]

Lt. Diaz explains why diversity is important in the FDNY.[audio:|titles=Does Diversity Matters? Lt. Ricco Diaz explains why diversity is important in the FDNY.]

Lt. Diaz talks about the undiscovered reasons for the lack of diversity in the FDNY.[audio:|titles=Lack of Diversity in The FDNY, a Unique Issue.]

Lt. Diaz talks about black firefighters retiring and more Hispanics in the FDNY. [audio:|titles=Less Black Firefigther v. More Hispanic Firefighters.]

About Jose Bayona

Journalist based in New York City.
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