New Britain leaders trying to diversify staff among emergency services

Hartford

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Britain is taking steps to diversify emergency services. 

The city is holding a recruitment drive aimed at attracting more minority officers, and News 8 has learned that people are interested in the positions. 

“I’ve always had a passion for helping people so I guess that’s what brought me here,” explained Wilmarie Diaz, of East Hartford, who wants to be a firefighter.

On Monday, she was among the first several dozen attendees at New Britain’s public safety recruitment drive. 

RELATED: New Britain to host recruitment event in effort to ramp up diversity in City Hall, beyond

“There are vacancies and current openings in all these departments,” Mayor Erin Stewart said. “About a dozen in the police department, six coming up in the fire and there’s always applications being accepted for New Britain emergency medical services.”

People came from New Britain and beyond, stopping at various stations and learning step by step what’s required to join the police, fire or EMS departments. 

“It’s not an easy task,” said Police Chief Christopher Chute. “It’s not an easy process, so what we’re doing today is we’re educating and trying to attract a team from the city of New Britain.

“Also what the expectations would be,” added Fire Chief Raul Ortiz. “It’s very important that as a New Britain resident or underrepresented group understands what these qualifications would be. “

The officers answering their questions also grew up on the same streets. Now, they hope to attract more people that reflect the city they serve.  

If you missed this event, the police department is accepting applications online.

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