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LA may get first Latino fire chief in its history

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Posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 7:53 pm | Updated: 8:26 pm, Tue Jul 15, 2014.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles may be getting the first Latino fire chief in its 128-year history.

Ralph Terrazas was named to the job Tuesday by Mayor Eric Garcetti after a nationwide search.

Terrazas is an assistant chief and a 30-year department veteran.

If the City Council confirms his appointment, Terrazas will take charge of a department with 3,500 employees and a number of challenges. There have been scandals over poor emergency-response times and nepotism in hiring.

Garcetti says he wants Terrazas to cut those response times and reform the department.

Terrazas says he'll work on making the department more technologically sophisticated. He replaces former Chief Brian Cummings — who retired last October — and acting Chief James Featherstone.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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