Hazing News

LA fire update

–from the Daily Breeze

LAFD interim chief to receive job permanently

Staff Writer
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will announce today that he wants Interim Fire Chief Douglas Barry to take over the post permanently and continue efforts to reform the beleaguered Los Angeles Fire Department.

After interviewing candidates inside and outside the LAFD, Villaraigosa decided he wanted Barry and persuaded the 32-year department veteran to stay on the job, sources said. Barry’s performance since he was promoted to interim chief in December was praised by individual firefighters and their union.

Barry replaced William Bamattre, who retired ahead of schedule amid accusations that he’d failed to root out hazing and harassment during his decade as fire chief.

Tufts said Barry, a Rancho Palos Verdes resident who was born and raised in the South Bay, has already improved morale by repeatedly reminding people that the vast majority of firefighters are serious, hardworking employees who do not haze or harass colleagues.

Barry has visited every firehouse to relay the department’s “zero tolerance” policy toward horseplay, hazing and harassment.

In April, Barry told reporters he had quickly launched investigations into alleged harassment, such as an incident in which a black firefighter complained he found a banana inside his locker and white lotion smeared on his clothing and uniform at a station in North Hollywood.

excerpt and link to main story

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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