LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Anthony C. Marrone was officially sworn in as chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Monday after serving as interim chief since July 2022.
The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Feb. 28 to approve Marrone's selection, despite opposition from several organizations, including the Women's Fire League, L.A. County Stentorians and Los Bomberos de LA County, who pointed to what they described as systemic failures in the department to bolster diversity, create jobs and advancement opportunities for women and people of color.
The groups and others also blasted the Board of Supervisors, saying it failed to hold a thorough, transparent and fair search for a new chief.
Marrone committed to the board that he would work to continue efforts by his predecessor, Daryl Osby, to improve representation within the agency, "to make sure we can move the needle ... to be more inclusive of women and people of color, not only when hiring, but when promoting."
He said that effort will begin by working to stabilize the department's budget, which he said needs to be increased to provide a higher level of service. He also conceded the department needs to be streamlined, with a reduction in the overall number of employees.
"I have a vision for the fire department that's going to be more inclusive, but we really need to start with that foundational budget. We need to fix it," he said.
Board members said they had confidence in Marrone's ability to improve the makeup of the agency. Supervisor Holly Mitchell told Marrone the agency has had "a historic under-representation of people of color and women."
"I heard you use the word equality, and I want to suggest the focus should be equity, given the historic underrepresentation," she said.
Mitchell said she wants "to continue to make strong strides ahead in making sure the fire department is a representative department that reflects the diversity of L.A. County."
"Please know that I will continue to collaborate with you and hold you accountable for those goals," she said. "... I fully expect that we make significant gains in that area."
Marrone responded, "I will be intentional that I will move the needle forward toward more diversity in our fire department. There's much more work that needs to be done."
Marrone has been a member of the department for 37 years, including stints as deputy chief and acting chief deputy over business operations. He also led and managed the Leadership and Professional Standards Bureau, Special Services Bureau, Emergency Medical Services Bureau, East Regional Operations Bureau and Central Regional Operations Bureau.
Marrone will be paid $441,792 a year.