Firefighters are the least likely of any Evanston city workers to live here while librarians are among those most likely to live in Evanston.

New figures from City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, requested by Evanston Now after last week’s city report showing that 28.5 percent of all city workers live in the city, provide the breakdown by department.

The percentages of full- and part-time from each department who live in the city are:

  • Fire – 9.17 percent.
  • Utilities – 9.80 percent.
  • Police – 14.91 percent.
  • Public Works – 27.03 percent.
  • Administrative Services – 31.67 percent.
  • Law – 37.50 percent.
  • Parks, Recreation and Community Services – 37.50 percent.
  • Community and Economic Development – 38.24 percent.
  • Health – 53.33 percent.
  • Library – 65.00 percent.
  • City Manager’s Office, City Clerk’s Office, City Council – 66.67 percent.

Speaking last week before the numbers were compiled, Bobkiewicz said his sense from signing birthday cards for every city employee was that people who worked in field services positions, jobs where they were on the road a lot, seemed to be less likely to live in Evanston than those who had jobs that kept them in a major city facility, like the Civic Center.

He said he didn’t know how to explain that discrepancy.

The Fire Department has recently started a new recruitment campaign in which it plans to give a preference in hiring to Evanston residents.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. An important rationale for

    An important rationale for preferential treatment of candidates who reside in-district is somewhat uncomfortable to talk about (and a dark aspect of human nature): in a time of large-scale crisis – earthquake, blackout, fire, riot, what have you – public safety workers residing away from their employing district simply wont show up for duty. They have more investment in the safety of their family, and community-of-residence in general. This was certainly true in New Orleans (approx 20 percent), and that was hardly an isolated case. Evanstons soft residency policy puts the city at risk by effectively reducing staffing levels in widespread crisis.

  2. Evanston Firefighters and Paramedics

    Why do more than 90% of Evanston firefighter/paramedics live outside of Evanston?

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published.