Briefs LAFD

Published on March 6th, 2014 | by Zamná Ávila

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Garcetti-Directed Fire Recruiting Investigation Launched

LOS ANGELES — On March 4, at the direction of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Fire Commission instructed the new Independent Assessor Sue Stengel, to launch an investigation into Los Angeles Fire Department recruiting.

The recruiting process pre-dates Garcetti’s administration.

Since taking office, Garcetti has:

  • Installed a new, reform-focused interim chief, who is not there just to “hold the fort” but to be an agent of change.
  • Installed a new, reform-focused fire commission
  • Seen to the appointment of a new independent assessor to increase accountability (Sue Stengel, with experience with the Los Angeles Police Department inspector general and a former member of Garcetti’s staff).
  • Seen to the appointment of a civilian public information officer to increase transparency and public accountability.

The next steps in Garcetti’s LAFD reform agenda are:

  • Merging the LAPD and LAFD dispatch systems. Currently, all 911 calls are answered by LAPD dispatchers, who then “hand off” calls to LAFD dispatchers. Eliminating this “hand off” is aimed at reducing response times.
  • Reorganizing department into four geographic bureaus with a “commander-in-chief” for each. Currently, bureaus are led by whomever is on duty according to the rotating shift. Accordingly, there is a lack of consistent leadership who can analyze performance, develop strategies and work with the community.
  • Fire Stat – They are implementing a Compstat-like system at LAFD to facilitate data-driven decision-making, accountability and sharing of best practices.
  • Creating an elevated leadership position focused on emergency medical services in recognition of the medical mission of LAFD; medical calls are the vast majority of fire department calls.
  • Assessment of additional civilian senior leadership – for example, in technology, employee relations and other non-front line roles.

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