As Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas readies for retirement, the agency may soon welcome its first female leader.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council President Nury Martinez have nominated Kristin Crowley, who currently serves as LAFD’s acting administrative operations chief deputy and marshal, to replace Terrazas.
If confirmed by the City Council, Crowley would become the first woman to lead the city’s fire department.
“There is no one better equipped to lead the LAFD at this moment than Kristin,” Garcetti said about the 22-year LAFD veteran. “She’s ready to make history.”
Crowley already made history with the LAFD when she became the agency’s first Fire Marshal.
He added, “We’re living through an unprecedented moment that has called on our Fire Department not just to protect us – but to lead us in the fight to overcome public safety challenges we’ve never faced before. At the same time, the LAFD is leading a transformative national discussion about strengthening equity and inclusion within the firefighting ranks, and we must overcome those internal challenges too.”
Garcetti’s support for Crowley has been widely viewed as an attempt to address female firefighters’ complaints of bullying and harassment at the department. In a survey, 56 percent of sworn female employees had cited bullying and harassment as sources of conflict at the agency, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Garcetti said Terrazas, who has led the department since 2014 and became the first Latino to serve in that role, is retiring, ending his nearly 40 year run with the LAFD.
In October, a group of female firefighters and civil rights advocates called for Terrazas to resign for allegedly ignoring allegations of sexism, harassment and abuse endured by women in the department by their male colleagues.
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