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Consultant who conducted Lansing Fire Department review levels criticism at city's HR operations

Posted at 9:18 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 14:32:56-04

LANSING, Mich. — A couple weeks ago, there was an independent review of the Lansing Fire Department released. FOX 47 News sat down with the man who conducted the review, who told us one of his main concerns was the level of cooperation coming from the city of Lansing's Department of Human Resources.

“I have a background of dealing with assessments of police departments, audits and also dealing with accreditation on the national and state level,” Center for Safety Assessments and Inclusion CEO Kevin Drummond said.

The review ultimately found that the department lacks resources and unity. It also found that there were concerns that the city’s Department of Human Resources had failed to handle complaints and investigations in a timely matter.

Drummond said the concerns about timeliness were reflected in his own experience while working on the report.

"A lot of times, I don’t know if it was missed emails or if they were unresponsive to some of our requests or if they weren’t open to dialogue,” Drummond said.

Drummond said he and his team sent emails to Human Resources requesting information such as recruitment plans for the fire department, retention statistics and concrete explanations of how they handle complaints and investigations. He said there were times when his team didn’t get a response for weeks, or even months.

Linda Sanchez-Gazella is the department's director, and Drummond said, while his team reached out to multiple people within the department, they always made sure Sanchez-Gazella was in the loop, but including her did not help to improve communications.

FOX 47 reached out to Sanchez-Gazella, but she did not get back to us.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor released this statement saying:

“I have full faith and confidence in Director Linda Sanchez-Gazella and the employees in Lansing Human Resources. They have incredibly tough jobs and are doing them the best they can with the available resources. I’m disappointed to hear that the consultant, who was hired to do a policy review of LFD, is now seeking out media to make personal claims about a department director and respected member of my staff and our community. I will continue to work positively to ensure the best services for the city of Lansing and our residents.”

Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Tianna Jenkins

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