The Springfield Fire Department and Brockton Police Departments have been released from a nearly half-a-century-old consent decree that prioritizes the hiring of Black and Hispanic candidates in Massachusetts police and fire departments.
U.S. District Court Judge Patti. B. Saris released the two departments from the state-mandated decree on Wednesday afternoon, court documents stated. The consent decree was originally installed during the 1970s after several lawsuits alleged that Boston police and fire departments discriminated against Black and Hispanic candidates while hiring incoming officers, according to court documents. The decree, which has been revised over recent years, states that city and town officials must follow hiring ratios intended to prioritize Black and Latino entry-level candidates. These set diverse ratios — or “parity goals” as stated in court records — vary by municipality and are based on population demographics.