Requesting Information Regarding Policies at New York City Emergency Agencies
In December 2018, I wrote to the New York City Laws Department to inquire about polices within different emergency agencies such as the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and New York City Police Department (NYPD). A startling article in the New York Post outlines a discrimination claim within FDNY regarding an African American man, who was suspected of being gay, suffered harassment by his co-workers, and ultimately left the agency due to the abuse. I have deep concerns about the recruitment practices and training programs in emergency services and how to better prepare employees to interact with the public and each other.
Additionally, I questioned the New York City Laws Department’s knowledge about current residency requirements and retention efforts for FDNY and NYPD employees. I also requested more information about whether there is a city-wide standard for sensitivity and/or sexual harassment training, regardless of agency or department, and what that training entails.
It is my understanding that some employees of these agencies reside outside of the five boroughs and in neighboring counties. There may be individuals who live in more insular communities and are not exposed to the wide range of circumstances experienced by City residents who are accustomed to working with individuals from different backgrounds in New York City’s vastly diverse neighborhoods.
If the FDNY promotes an insular culture where a man who identifies as gay experiences harassment from his colleagues, there is a question about why personnel continue to protect that harmful environment. I hope to gain further clarity about these internal practices and the recruitment and training strategies of these important agencies.