September 11 Digital Archive

Questioning racial diversity in the Fire Department

Title

Questioning racial diversity in the Fire Department

Source

born-digital

Media Type

article

Original Name

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta told the City Councils Committee on Fire & Criminal Justice Ser

Created by Author

yes

Described by Author

no

Date Entered

2002-04-04

VTMBH Article: Edition

14

VTMBH Article: Article Order

4

VTMBH Article: Title

Questioning racial diversity in the Fire Department

VTMBH Article: Author

Marimer Navarette

VTMBH Article: Publication

Hoy

VTMBH Article: Original Language

Spanish

VTMBH Article: Translator

Telesh Lopez

VTMBH Article: Section

news

VTMBH Article: Blurb

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta told the City Councils Committee on Fire & Criminal Justice Services Council that white men make up 93 percent of the force. This revelation angered council members representing the citys minorities.

VTMBH Article: Keywords

VTMBH Article: Body

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta told the City Councils Committee on Fire & Criminal Justice Services Council that white men make up 93 percent of the force. This revelation angered council members representing the citys minorities.

It is ridiculous how this department has toyed with minorities until now. You say that 93 percent are white males, and you are not ashamed? said the City Councilman Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx).

In New York City, Blacks and Latinos make up 60 percent of the general population and 50 percent of the City Council.
Diaz asked the Commissioner why there werent more minorities and women in the FDNY, to which Scoppetta replied, many of the women fail the physical test, while Hispanics have problems passing the written test.

I was offended, because in other words, he called us stupid. Attending a public hearing and saying we do not pass a test which they never let us take is a mockery and disrespectful, Diaz said.

The councilman noted that the 93 percent of whites in the FDNY contrasts starkly with the Police Department. The last graduating class of the NYPD Police Academy was 53 percent minority.

The FDNY continues to function like an estate, protecting its family. The only ones benefiting are the white father, son, brother, or uncle, added Diaz. Diaz said that he has received many insulting and racist letters for speaking so strongly against the existing discrimination in the Fire Department.

Scopetta said that the recruitment of minorities, especially Latinos and Blacks, would be his priority from now on. This is a genuine subject and we will consider it. There is a lot of preoccupation about diversity in the FDNY and I understand that. This was part of the conversation I had with the mayor when he asked me to be the departments Commissioner, Scoppetta said.

The FDNY has seen an influx of applications since September 11th, when more than 300 firefighters were victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Since December, the firefighters count 30 women, 374 Hispanics and 300 blacks in a force of 11,112 members. Councilman Diaz said that the FDNY still does not have a concise, set and serious way to recruit Hispanics and other minority groups, but I assure you that before I leave this will have to change.

VTMBH Article: Line Breaks

1

VTMBH Article: Date

2002-04-04

VTMBH Article: Thumb

VTMBH Article: Article File

v14n4.doc

VTMBH Article: Hit Count

106

Citation

“Questioning racial diversity in the Fire Department,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed March 29, 2020, https://911digitalarchive.org/items/show/1258.