News

Yonkers Fire Department Targets Minority Candidates In Recruitment Drive

Generic Firefighter File Photo (credit: CBS 2)

Generic Firefighter File Photo (credit: CBS 2)

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Yonkers Fire Department is seeking to hire more minorities.

The Journal News reports the city plans to send Black and Hispanic officers into minority neighborhoods to encourage people to apply. A walk-in recruitment center opened this week at the Riverfront Library.

Applicants must be 29-years-old or younger. They must take a written exam first, followed by a physical. They must have at least a high school diploma.

Recruits must take a written exam first, followed by a physical.

“They run through December 29, and you can file at the Yonkers Riverfront Library on weekdays between the hours of approximately 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. at night, and on Saturday, 9 a.m. to I believe 4 p.m.,” said Yonkers Fire Commissioner Anthony Pagano.

“You would bring a blank check because it does cost money to take the test, and you would also bring a picture ID, and you have to file in person,” he added.

It’s the first such drive in three years. It grew out of two lawsuits, in 1978 and 1980, brought by the Vulcan Society of Westchester and the U.S. Justice Department.

Under a 1981 settlement, Yonkers agreed to the recruiting program.

The department currently has 321 firefighters and 116 officers. Only one is a woman.

City officials say more than 30 percent of the firefighters it has hired since the last entrance exam in 2008 have been minorities. It didn’t provide a breakdown.

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