Racial bias reported at New Britain Fire Department

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NEW BRITAIN --  The NAACP of New Britain received a report Tuesday of racial bias and unequal treatment at the fire department.

Mayor Erin Stewart has responded to the allegations by hiring an outside attorney to investigate further. The board said there's been several complaints from city employees about the racial injustice at the fire department for several years and they said enough is enough.

The board said the hiring and retention of black, brown and female firefighters have not been reflective in leadership positions. They also said certain employees are responsible for this and must accept the consequences that will take place.

In turn, they added officials such as department heads and supervisors and are equally responsible and will not be allowed to lead the community, which may lead to the termination of their jobs. While the mayor has been commended for responding to this issue so quickly, the board is asking for more.

The NAACP New Britain President,Ronald Perry Davis, issued the following statement:

"The practices of the New Britain Fire Department is not new towards black and brown men and women. Firefighters, as well as folks who want to become firefighters in New Britain, will always be looked at like a boy's club."

New Britain's Fire Chief, Tom Ronalter, said, "Mayor Erin Stewart has ordered an investigation of these allegations. All members of the department are ordered to cooperate in connection with this investigation. Failure to cooperate may result in disciplinary action."

A press conference will be held next Tuesday, May 9 at 6:15 p.m. at Central Park in New Britain. That will be followed by a community rally at 6:30 p.m. where the public will be invited to learn more about what is going on.