Minneapolis Fire Department

Recent Articles

MPD and MFD in trouble

Racial balance is being lost
 
The facts of the last 40 years reveal Minnesota is not, when it comes to African Americans, liberal and progressive. It is illiberal and regressive, openly and defiantly not complying with federal or local civil rights laws and rules, adopting purposeful amnesia to counter such inconvenient memories. • 1972: the federal court in the State of Minnesota, imposed sanctions on the Minneapolis Fire Department and the City of Minneapolis for such violations. • 1979: a request sent by this columnist, as chairman of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission, to the federal court for a review of its 1972 decree. The court did so and imposed sanctions on the City of Minneapolis and its fire department, appointing a special federal oversight committee. Continue Reading →

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When bribery and corruption causes death!

In the deaths of five children in North Minneapolis
 
On Saturday, February 15, 2014, Minneapolis Fire Department units rushed to a blazing and fatal fire at 2818 Colfax Avenue, North. Five beautiful, precious and innocent children lost their lives. The father, who lost his wife to heart disease a couple of months ago, now loses five of his children. He tried to rescue them. Three were burnt beyond recognition. Continue Reading →

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Black firefighters fear fewer Blacks on force

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

The Minneapolis Fire Department last month began its first firefighters’ class in seven years. However, only one of the 12 new hires is Black, which has several Black firefighters wondering if the department, which for six decades was all White, is abandoning its diversity goals. Minneapolis Black Firefighters Association President Charles Rucker told the MSR that a seven-year-old applicants list had many more Blacks but was changed last year to include returning military veterans. “The list was very diverse,” he explained. “Now we have a majority White class.”

A new federal law last year gave veterans an additional five points as a preferred hiring candidate, explained Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetal. Continue Reading →

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Henn. County judge begins a new life chapter

International Leadership Institute unites Minneapolis with sister city in Kenya

By Lisa Bryant

Contributing Writer

 

After serving as a trial judge for 21 years in the Hennepin County Fourth Judicial District Court, the Honorable LaJune Thomas Lange has found another way to influence and serve the Twin Cities as well as the global community. In 1994, she founded the International Leadership Institute, an organization based in Minneapolis that works to build and bridge relationships between local and international leaders to strengthen cross-cultural relations, provide civic education programs and enhance the lives of international peoples and communities. “I’m so very proud of the work Judge Lange is doing,” says Judge Pamela Alexander, a former district court judge with the Hennepin County courts, now

president of Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice in Minneapolis. Alexander explains that African Americans often forget how connected we are to our African nations. For that reason, she says Lange’s work is remarkable: “It opens [our perspective on our] world and reveals just how connected we truly are.”

Lange has devoted a great deal of her career as a judge, professor and lecturer to issues concerning human rights, international law and governance, and women’s rights and gender equality worldwide. Continue Reading →

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A good man departs public service — Fire Chief Alex Jackson to step down Feb. 29, 2012

 

 

When Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD) Chief Alex Jackson announced his retirement two weeks ago, it was not necessarily surprising to us in this corner. We saw it coming as far back as April 2010 in the rush to judgment over the April 28, 2010 fire that was used to unfairly yet purposefully undercut Chief Jackson. As I wrote in my April 10, 2010 column, “All the Star Tribune and City Council Member Gary Schiff (DFL, Ninth Ward) have managed to do as shameless, vocal town criers against the department’s Chief Jackson, Assistant Chief Penn, and Fire Marshall Tyner, all African Americans, is get egg on their faces.”

Despite how he has been treated, the good news is that Chief Jackson is leaving for retirement on his own terms, his head unbowed. Due to my long experience as one of the federal court-appointed overseers of the department, I am extremely familiar with the MFD and its demands. It was not always an easy task to convey to the union and the politicians the importance of adhering to the orders of the federal court. Continue Reading →

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Some in Mpls City Hall are hostile to Blacks – Chief Alex Jackson is a target again

 

My Minneapolis beat continually exposes me to the fact that Black folks are really not liked nor appreciated in some circles in Minneapolis. The latest focus of City leadership is on our Minneapolis Fire Department because of its successful leadership by a Black man. Some in city government are determined to portray Fire Chief Alex Jackson as a negative example. Yet in my estimation, he has been one of the finest leaders in the history of the Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD). I should know, as I served a decade as one of six citizens presiding over the fire department for the federal court when the MFD was as discriminatory as the police department. Continue Reading →

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