Black firefighters only make up 15% of the Chicago department

A clause in a collective bargaining agreement from the early 1980s requires the department to strive for as much 45% minority representation as possible across all ranks. The department currently has 721 black employees, representing 15%, of approximately 4,800 uniformed members. Of that number, 422 are firefighters, 35 of them women, according to department numbers the Tribune received in a record request. Hispanic representation is over 18%.

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