BOSTON (CBS) – A proposal to increase the residency requirement for Boston’s public safety employees is headed to the City Council for a vote, and it appears likely to pass.

During a Tuesday hearing, nobody spoke against the proposal that, if approved, would require public safety workers to live in Boston for at least three years before becoming a public safety worker. Currently, the requirement is only one year.

Boston Fire Lt. Rayshawn Johnson, who heads the Boston Society of Vulcans, said young kids from across the country currently apply using a temporary Boston address, which means city residents are not getting the preference that he thinks they deserve.

If approved, the new rule would not change the preference for veterans.

Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans said the proposal would give native Bostonians an edge over newer residents.

“Neighborhood kids who grew up here understand the culture. They know the city. I am all for making sure kids who really grow up in this neighborhood have first shot at these jobs,” Evans said.

Acting Fire Commissioner John Hasson said the proposal would make it more difficult for applicants to manipulate the hiring process.

“If you know you can’t meet the three year requirement, you are probably not going to even apply to take the exam,” Hasson said.

Several Boston City Councilors have lent support the idea.

The council could vote on the proposal as early as July 9.


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