A clause in a collective bargaining agreement from the early 1980s requires the department to strive for as close to 45% minority representation as possible in all ranks. The department of nearly 4,800 uniformed members currently has 721 Black employees, which represents 15%. Of that number, 422 are firefighters, 35 of them women, according to department numbers the Tribune received in a records request. Hispanic representation is higher at 18%.



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