Ralph Terrazas: New LAFD Chief

Ralph Terrazas: New LAFD Chief

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It's nice to see the local kids make good. Ralph Terrazas was born in Wilmington, lives in San Pedro, and now can call himself the Chief of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.( www.lafd.org

He says his priorities are more diversity, increasing resources, and improving response times. All worthy goals. It was all smiles and handshakes in the Mayor's conference room at City Hall today when Terrazas was official sworn in, with his wife and one of his three children there. He takes over a department that is, like so many in the city, caught up in the '' R'' word, ''reform'. Recent troubles with recruiting classes (too many recruits related to current employees) and diversity ( only about three percent of the Dept if female) resulted in outside consultants coming in with a lot of recommendations for change. Even hiring civilians to do certain investigatory tasks, something the new Chief approves of in theory.

Mayor Garcetti talked about making the LAFD the most ''cutting edge'' in the nation. They're planning to use a computerized tracking program called "Fire Stat'' to make sure they are where the needs are, similar to what the LAPD has done with its highly touted '' Comp Stat'' program. It all sounds good, but in the short term we just want to make sure when we pick up the phone and call 911 they get there as fast as they can.

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