Paterson promotes first Hispanic American to position of fire chief

It was a historic day in Paterson as the city promoted its first Hispanic American to the position of fire chief. The city also concluded Puerto Rican Heritage Month with the historic promotion of Alejandro Alicea, who served the department for 30 years.
“Our culture has come a long way, our people have come a long way,” Alicea told News 12 following the ceremony. “We have Puerto Ricans and Hispanics in general in every facet of every agency throughout the city.”
Alicea says he prides himself in growing up in Paterson and serving the community he loves every day.
“I was born and raised here in Paterson to a single mother. She did her job with three sons and one daughter. We’re all in public service,” he says.
Alicea was one of 19 who were promoted this week. He says he wants to encourage other minorities to serve their community and take on positions of leadership.
“It’s an honor to have other children look up to us and realize that they too, and I know it's cliché, but they too can also achieve great things,” Alicea says.