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NAACP Expresses Concern over Fire Commissioner Search

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Reverend Talbert Swan has been re-elected as the president of the Springfield NAACP, and today, he spoke out against the city’s fire department and their search for a fire commissioner.

Swan says the hierarchy of the fire department isn’t qualified to make hiring decisions and that changes need to be made.

“It is with this in mind that our branch stands in opposition to reducing the qualifications for the position of fire commissioner for the express purpose of hiring the otherwise unqualified acting commissioner Joseph Conant,” Swan adds.

Swan says the fire department has also failed to give people of color a fair shot at getting promoted. He cited the fact that no Black or Hispanic officer had been promoted to district chief until just recently.


  • divalliere

    Its seems hypocritical to me…..the naacp WAS in favor of lowering requirments for firefights in new haven, new york and some other areas when afican american candidates failed the entry exam at alarming rates claiming it was a discrimatory test. Hmmmm. if my home is burning…I don’t care your skin color…I want the best of the best coming to help me and my fam. However….and granted I don’t know the details…..if mr conant has a good record and numerous years in a firefighting position, isn’t there the possibilty his hands on experience could make him a more ideal candidate than someone who simply has a fancy degree….or are the rules only ok to bend when you can cry racist!! Behind those allowances? Thing that make u say hmmmmm

  • springfieldresident

    divalliere, what the hell do you know? Firefighter entry is one thing but to run a department you need an education and an associates degree isn’t good enough!
    Donald Kelly, what the hell do you know? Great leader my ___!

    I think Joe Conant and Jerrold Prendergast shouldn’t get the job. It’s time to get a minority in that seat, someone THAT MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS!

  • divalliere

    I’m assuming ur joking

  • dave629

    Why does Swan insist on a candidates blackness as a prerequisite for the position? Can any news media ask him that question? Inquiring minds want to hear the answer.