Boston City Councilor At-Large Michael F. Flaherty has announced that on Tuesday, July 1st at 1:00 PM, he will hold a hearing to discuss his proposal to extend the residency preference for civil service applicants in the city.

The proposal, titled “An Ordinance Regarding Residency Preference for the Boston Police Department and the Boston Fire Department,” was introduced at the Boston City Council meeting on April 30th and assigned to the Committee on Government Operations, of which Councilor Flaherty chairs. Currently, The Civil Service Law governed by Chapter 31 Section 58 of the Massachusetts General Laws permits cities and towns to ask that residents be placed on the eligible service list before non-residents. Because the state defines residency as occupying a city or town for just one year, Councilor Flaherty argues that the current law does not give enough preference to longtime city residents. If passed, Councilor Flaherty hopes this ordinance will lead to more opportunities for local citizens who grew up in Boston, raised in Boston and are familiar with our streets.
“What I am proposing is that the city does more to recruit police officers and firefighters who are vested in the city where they serve,” Flaherty said. “Additionally, there have been concerns over the years about the lack of diversity within public safety jobs and that issue will be addressed by this ordinance.”

Larry Ellison, President of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers (M.A.M.L.E.O), said, “Boston only grows when its workforce is diverse, and that starts with planting a seed in the city and watching it grow.”

Those invited to testify at the hearing include Commissioner William Evans of the Boston Police Department; Acting Commissioner John Hasson of the Boston Fire Department; Richard Paris, President of Firefighters Local 718; Larry Ellison, President of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers (MAMLEO); Thomas J. Nee, President of Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association; and Rayshawn Johnson, President of the Boston Society of Vulcans.

When the ordinance was initially introduced, seven other councilors signed on and expressed their support. The hearing will take place at Boston City Hall’s Iannella Chambers and public testimony is welcome.