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FDNY commish Laura Kavanagh prohibits firefighters from ‘political expression’ — critics charge she’s silencing Trump supporters

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The FDNY ordered firefighters and medics this week to hose down “political expression” on the job — a move some critics claim was done to muzzle supporters of Donald Trump.

“The department reminds all members during this time of heightened political debate, particularly in the lead up to the November 2024 elections, to be mindful of engaging in conduct that creates division within our workplace,” says the internal order reviewed by The Post. “The workplace is generally not the appropriate place for political expression.”

The order did not define “political expression,” and FDNY officials refused to describe the policy’s parameters.

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh posted the rules Tuesday — two days before the first presidential debate, and the same day as some local primaries.

The FDNY under Kavanagh — a longtime political operative who began her career working for Barack Obama and other Dems — has a track record of trying to silence rank-and-file members who express conservative views, critics charge.

“Once again, we’re seeing blatant overreach by the FDNY – overreach that is no doubt meant to silence supporters of the Republican party,” fumed City Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Queens), who chairs the fire and emergency management committee.

“We saw it with the Tish James fiasco back in March, and now, two days before the presidential debate, we saw it again. This city has a serious problem – we are letting violent [anti-Israel] protests slide while cracking down on free speech.”

In March, Kavanagh was openly dismayed after firefighters and other staffers booed Attorney General Letitia James, a fellow Dem, while chanting “Trump!” during an FDNY promotion ceremony.

After The Post reported that Kavanagh and the FDNY’s Bureau of Investigations and Trials planned to “hunt down” the hecklers if they didn’t turn themselves in, Chief of Department John Hodgens took the fall, claiming he wrongly used the term “hunt down” in an internal announcement. Hodgens then insisted there would be no investigation.

Kavanagh’s latest order also rankled many FDNY veterans.

“It’s just another  example of how this administration is trying to squelch free speech,” said a longtime firefighter. “Now it’s unacceptable to civilly discuss politics around the firehouse kitchen table for fear of offending someone and having the commissioner send her minions out to ‘hunt down’ any offender like they did after the pro-Trump chants.”

Kavanagh’s latest order also rankled many FDNY veterans.

“They don’t like the fact that the vast majority of both FDNY and NYPD members tend to lean more to the conservative side,” he added.

“They pick and choose and restrict anything that they themselves don’t align with.”

Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said he believes the order is “unnecessary,” adding the union staunchly supports members’ free-speech rights.

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