NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — More than 40 percent of the applicants who passed the latest New York fire department exam are minorities.

That’s better than the results of the past three exams.

The city is under a court order to boost the hiring, training and promotion of minorities. A federal judge ruled previously that the agency discriminated against minorities in its entrance exam.

The department had been actively going to churches, shopping malls and using social media to recruit members in an effort to diversify the department.

Of the 42,161 people who took the test, 19,260 of them were minorities — a 130 percent increase over the previous exam administered in 2007. A record number of women — nearly 2,000 — also took the test.

City officials said more than 40 percent of the 9,400 who passed the new test are minorities.

The city will urge a judge to certify the results so it can begin hiring new firefighters. It hasn’t been allowed to do so since 2007.

Of the 11,200 uniformed city firefighters, 9 percent are black or Hispanic. More than half the residents in the city of 8 million identify with a racial minority group.

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