The Morning Report
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The fire chief and the president of the firefighters’ union have both said this week that the department has not received any complaints in the last 15 years about firefighters’ participation in the Pride Parade.
Ron Saathoff, president of Local 145, the firefighters’ union, told me that yesterday and Fire Chief Tracy Jarman was quoted in the Union-Tribune, a local newspaper, saying the same thing.
However, there was a complaint filed last year following the parade that mirrors this year’s complaint.
Here’s a an inter-department communication from Capt. Lynda Lynch to her battalion chief. It’s dated Aug. 24, 2006 — just after last year’s parade.
Lynch complains that her firefighters were subjected to all sorts of hassle both in the Pride Parade and immediately after it. During the parade, they were sprayed with an unknown liquid, she writes, and they had sexually explicit material posted on the door of their station.
Lynch suggests changes in the department’s protocol:
I suggest we use off-duty personnel and a vehicle from the Fire House museum or the Training Department for future Gay Pride Parades. This would prevent only one crew from being targeted with unwanted attention of brochures at their workplace.
In other words, the captain of Station 8, in Mission Hills, warned the department that the Pride Parade had resulted in unwanted attention and sexual harassment for firefighters.
I’ve been trying to get Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque on the phone. I would like to find out exactly who gave the order that the firefighters must march in the parade and whether Jarman was aware of last year’s complaint.