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Kristin Crowley Will Be LA's First Female And Openly Gay Fire Chief

The soon-to-be LAFD fire chief Kristin Crawley
smiles and poses in her uniform.
Then LAFD Deputy Chief Kristin Crowley attends The 2019 MAKERS Conference at Monarch Beach Resort on Feb. 7, 2019 in Dana Point.
(Rachel Murray
/
Getty Images)
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Kristin Crowley will officially lead the Los Angeles Fire Department after the city council unanimously approved her appointment on Tuesday.

Crowley is not only L.A.'s first female fire chief; she's the department's first openly gay leader.

She says her priorities will include promoting a "work environment that is free of harassment, discrimination and hazing." On top of maintaining firefighters' safety, health and overall well-being.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center calls the appointment a "historic confirmation."

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"Crowley now joins a handful of pioneering LGBTQ fire chiefs nationwide who are out and proud, and we salute her for being an LGBTQ role model who has been making a positive contribution to our city," the center said in a statement.

Crowley is a 22-year department veteran who's currently a deputy chief. She'll take over when the current leader, Ralph Terrazas, retires in late March.

"There are opportunities for growth, innovations, accountability and the creation of systemic equity and inclusion across the LAFD," Crowley said. "I am ready, willing and able to lead our great organization into the future."

For decades, several female LAFD firefighters say they encountered cruel pranks, sexual harassment and, in a few cases, assault.

In October of last year, female firefighters called for Terrazas to step down, accusing him of "a pervasive racist and sexist culture" within the LAFD and his failure to address it.

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti defended Terrazas, saying he'd done "an excellent job leading and rebuilding (the) department." Garcetti nominated Crowley in January when he announced that Terrazas would be stepping down.

Crowley's confirmation took place on the first day of women's history month. She was the city's first female fire marshal. Now she'll be L.A.'s first fire chief.

"And as we build this next generation, a new era of the LAFD together, there are opportunities for growth, innovations, accountability and the creation of systemic equity and inclusion across the LAFD," she said.

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