Federal Investigation of Lexington Fire Department

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 4/30/2012 11:13 pm
     Firefighters with the Lexington Fire Department put their lives on the line everyday.  It's not what they do but *who* is doing it that's making headlines.  The US Department of Justice is now conducting an investigation into the employment practices of the fire department.

     Susan Straub, with the Lexington Mayor's Office, released a statement Monday, saying quote "There are no findings at this time. The city was made aware of the investigation in early April. Federal officials have our full cooperation and we welcome their investigation. They have told us they treat investigations of this type as confidential, and we will follow their ground rules." end quote

     The Executive Director of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, Ray Sexton, says he was shocked to hear about this investigation, "this issue that we heard about today is the first I've heard of it.  Nothing has come through our office."

     The department has come under fire in recent years for its lack of diversity.  It even held a widely-publicized campaign to try to recruit more minorities but it appears that effort fell short.  A new firefighter class starts training Tuesday and of the 26 recruits, there is one black man and one black woman, according to Major Ed Davis with the Lexington Fire Department.  He says there are a total of 481 firefighters right now. Of that number, there are 23 black men, 12 woman, 1 American Indian, 1 pacific islander and 1 hispanic.

     Sexton says it's not surprising that the campaign didn't result in more minority hires, "I'm not saying that anybody is guilty, or whatever, but if you have a department that's statistically predominantly white and has few minorities.  Certainly, am I surprised that minorities are not applying or being hired?  No, because they might feel,well, based on past practices, there's no point of me submitting an application because I will be turned down or I'm not going to be hired."
    
     The US Department of Justice wouldn't comment any further.  No word on when this investigation will be finished.

     Chris Bartley, the President of the Lexington Professional Firefighters Union says he knows the department is white male dominant and the union wants more diversity but it has nothing to do with the hiring process.
Share
0 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

No comments yet!
Most Popular
UPDATE: Name Of Victim In Fatal Lexington Crash Released
The name of the woman killed in a Lexington crash early Saturday morning has been released.
Motorcyclists Injured While Parked On Side Of I-75
A group of riders parked on I-75 under an overpass were hit by a van after it hydroplaned into them Saturday night. Video Video
Progress Report: Hemp Is Looking Good
Hemp is now back in the hands of just a few farmers, taking part in a hemp pilot program. A Rockcastle County farmer has dedicated his summer to growing the crop. Video Video
UPDATE: Man Hit And Killed By Train Identified
A man hit and killed in Lexington by a train Friday morning has been identified.
Camping World founder dies in fall at Ky. home
David Garvin, a Kentucky entrepreneur who founded the retail chain Camping World, died Saturday morning in an accidental fall at his home.
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
   

WTVQ.com supports children's privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended.