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Thursday, September 08, 2011

A different take on new LAFD Chief Brian Cummings

New LAFD Chief Brian Cummings
** Blogger's notes: As Mayor Antonio Villar sits with First Lady Michelle Obama at this moment while President Barack "H" Obama shills for more public intervention in the job market, some with an intimate knowledge of the Los Angeles Fire Department's internal culture send us this on the hiring of new chief Brian Cummings---Scott Johnson  
In a stunning appointment, Mayor Villaraigosa is set to announce the appointment of Assistant Chief Brian Cummings as the next Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Stunning why? Cummings does not have a college degree, had never worked in the upper echelon of the LAFD prior to a year ago, and wasn’t even well known within the Department much less the fire service prior to being selected as Millage Peaks' Chief of Staff. Cummings has been Interim Fire Chief since July and his major accomplishment since being appointed caretaker is tweeting his coffee and dinner plans and retweeting alerts and articles that should have been vetted.
The Mayor’s appointment is considered a slap in the face to rank and file firefighters. Cummings was the primary architect that stripped 318 firefighters from firehouses around the city. Perhaps the Mayor is appointing him as Chief Political Water Carrier into the stench of his lame duck administration is appropriately tossed. The handicappers had felt Patrick Butler - a Spanish speaking Mexican/Irish Assistant Chief - was the odds on favorite. A graduate of the Naval Postgraduate school and Harvard Fellow, Butler is respected within the department, City Hall, and across the nation.
Your thoughts............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Blogger Los Angeles Fire Department said:


While I don't have an official opinion to offer on much of what was stated or inferred in your post, my interest was piqued with the suggested "vetting" of Twitter posts from the interim Chief - or for that matter, any member of the LAFD.

Those of us (at many ranks and stations) seeking to offer the best service possible could probably benefit from an example of a...

"retweeting alerts and articles that should have been vetted"?

Along with such examples, any suggestion for who should have vetted them would be most welcome.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

September 08, 2011 4:29 PM  

Blogger jerboe said:

As a thirty-year member of the LAFD, I've had the great pleasure of working with both Chief Cummings and Butler. I have found each of them to be loyal employees dedicated to the proposition of a safer Los Angeles and a more effective LAFD. That said, there are tremendous qualification differences with respect to academic standing and leadership acumen as pointed out by the OP.

In addition to Chief Butler possessing an Undergraduate and Graduate degree, he has recently been accepted into the Doctoral program in Public Policy, Planning and Development at USC. His thirst for knowledge and self-improvement are second to none.

As an longtime advocate for education, he also manages to divides his time as an Associate Instructor at Texas A&M University. Furthermore, Chief Butler is a Harvard Fellow, and was one of a selected few chosen to study as a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

In today's day and age academic credentials, critical thinking and leadership are vital in effectively managing a modern-day organization such as the LAFD. This Organization has a half-billion dollar budget, three thousand employees and labor relations issues that has attempted to stymy safe and productive outputs.

The LAFD needs a leader with intellect, demonstrated performance and a resume that will invite success within City Hall as well as embrace the challenges and concerns of the three thousand men and women of the LAFD. The City of Los Angeles needs Pat Butler as its next Fire Chief.

Jerry Bedoya
Captain II
Fire Station 10
Los Angeles Fire Department

September 08, 2011 8:22 PM  

Blogger LearnHowToNow said:

interesting article

September 08, 2011 8:29 PM  

Blogger Joe Herrera said:

I guess the Mayor who speaks about the value and importance of education as stated in his last four speeches picked somebody with formal, advance and graduate education…..no sorry…I mean the Mayor who has been championing the voice for the Latino community had a chance to pick somebody who actually speaks Spanish …no sorry…I mean the Mayor who changes out senior staff and GM’s more frequently than the barista at starbucks changes out the single drip Café Americano filter would hire a fire chief that will be around for more than two years, not like the last 2…..no sorry. Oh well good luck to Mr. Cummings, I guess the selection committee recommended the right guy…oh he didn’t even make the cut in the selection committee… oh well I’m sure he’ll do fine.

September 08, 2011 9:54 PM  

Blogger g said:

i hope he does an effective job for all of us!

September 09, 2011 3:10 PM  

Blogger Nate F. said:

What about the other member's of the Department who are looking for a leader and not a "grand-stander"? Since when did the appointment of Fire Chief become a popularity contest? While education is important, it is only one element in the process, and in fact, education wasn't a requirement. It doesn't sound like Mr. Butler has a 4-year college degree either? The Mayor and the public are looking for someone to make difficult decisions in difficult times. As a taxpayer, I am looking for the best service that we can "afford". Chief Cummings has proven that he can evaluate service levels with an appropriate cost benefit to the L.A. taxpayer. Chief Cummings was the only finalist who has proven he can make a difficult decision. Good luck Chief!

September 11, 2011 4:49 PM  

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