9News Investigators: Veteran fire captain suspended for alleged - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

9News Investigators: Veteran fire captain suspended for alleged use of N-word

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

A captain at the Baton Rouge Fire Department will serve a 10 day suspension without pay for using derogatory language at the fire station. Additionally, all 610 employees at the fire department will be required to participate in a city-run diversity class.

“The fire department does not tolerate the use of offensive language and that's why we're scheduling diversity training for the entire department,” said Chad Major, assistant to the fire chief.

9News Investigators learned about the accusation, which happened on August 14 at Station 14 on Harding. Reports show that Captain Derin Hairford was accused of using the N-word.

“The incident was reported to us by one of our employees,” Major explained. “We followed up on that report and turned the information over to the HR department for the city, because we thought it was too serious to handle in house.

“All of the individuals who were present were interviewed,” Major added. “It took them 3 to 4 weeks to complete the findings. They recommended diversity training for Hairford.”

Chief Ed Smith, however, decided to include all employees, including current cadets at the academy, in the diversity class, as well as the suspension for Hairford.

“It's brought to light that we need to re-educate all of our employees,” Major noted. “His [Capt. Hairford] discipline will also send a message that we will not tolerate this behavior.”

Hairford's suspension will begin on Oct. 31, 2014.

The date of the diversity class is in the process of being scheduled.

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