Los Angeles City Council Confirms Fire Chief Salary

By Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte
Micaela Ricaforte
April 28, 2022 Updated: April 28, 2022

The Los Angeles Fire Department’s (LAFD) new chief Kristin Crowley, who was sworn into the position last month, will have an annual base salary of about $367,000—nearly 8 percent higher than her predecessor.

The LA City Council unanimously approved Crowley’s annual salary April 26, which was recommended by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Garcetti nominated Crowley—a 22-year LAFD veteran who served as deputy fire chief for five years—to the position shortly after former LAFD fire chief Ralph Terrazas announced his retirement in January.

Crowley’s annual salary is about $27,000 higher than Terrazas’s, according to Transparent California, which researches and publishes salaries for California public officials.

Crowley could also additionally see up to $200,000 more in pay, with overtime pay, benefits, and via her retirement pension.

The new chief’s salary will be higher than that of the largest and second-largest fire departments in the country.

James C. Hodgens, the acting fire chief of the nation’s largest fire department, the New York City Fire Department, received a base salary of about $348,000 in 2020.

Annette M. Nance-Holt, fire chief of the Chicago Fire Department—the second-largest in the nation, received about $230,000 in 2021.

Jeanine Nicholso, chief of San Francisco Fire Department received $336,000 in 2020.

However, according to a report by LA’s City Administrative Officer, Crowley’s salary is within its recommended range for a general manager of a department—which is about $224,000 to $398,000.

LA Police Department Chief Michel Moore was paid a base salary of $377,000 in 2020, according to Transparent California.

Chiefs of other large California fire departments—such as Orange County, San Diego, and Sacramento—are currently paid a base between $200,000 and $300,000 annually.

During her tenure with the LAFD, Crowley has served as a firefighter, paramedic, engineer, fire inspector, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief, deputy chief, and chief deputy.

She is the first woman and the first openly gay chief to lead the LAFD.