SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports
May 24, 2006 13:30 ET
Los Angeles World Airports Names James T. Butts Jr. to New Airport Law Enforcement Executive Position
(NOTE TO EDITORS: James Butts Jr. will be introduced at a news conference at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon at LAX. The already scheduled news conference will cover Memorial Day and Summer Travel Forecasts at LAX and Ontario Airports. It will feature U.S. Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security Kip Hawley, who also heads the Transportation Security Administration.)
LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 24, 2006 -- Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Executive
Director Lydia H. Kennard today announced the appointment of James T. Butts
Jr. to the new position of Deputy Executive Director of Airport Law
Enforcement & Protection Services.
The police chief of the City of Santa Monica for the past 15 years, Butts
will oversee the nation's largest airport law enforcement and security
organization. He will be responsible for leading the more than 1,200 sworn
and civilian personnel assigned to protect and serve at LAWA's four
airports -- Los Angeles International (LAX), Ontario International (ONT),
Palmdale Regional (PMD) and Van Nuys (VNY). LAX, ONT and PMD combined
serve more than 68 million passengers a year, while VNY is the world's
busiest general aviation airport.
Butts, 52, will lead the LAWA police and security forces assigned to the
four airports in three cities, as well as assume a pivotal role in
collaborating and coordinating law enforcement and security duties
performed by more than 4,000 federal and local officers. The largest of
these outside agencies include the Transportation Security Administration
(2,000 transportation security officers) and Customs and Border Protection
(800 sworn officers).
Other agencies with a law enforcement presence at LAX include the Federal
Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Secret Service;
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Immigration and
Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Air Marshal Program, among many
others. In addition, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) maintains a
substation at LAX.
Chief Butts will report to his new position in late summer following the
completion of his responsibilities to ensure an orderly and effective
transition of command at the Santa Monica Police Department.
"After a six-month nationwide search, we found the most qualified law
enforcement professional for this important position right in our backyard
in the neighboring community of Santa Monica," said Kennard. "We believe
Chief Butts' commitment to the concept of community-based policing combined
with his outstanding record in public safety, recruiting, training and
harnessing technology makes him the ideal choice for this position."
Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners President Alan Rothenberg said,
"The City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports are indeed
fortunate to have recruited Chief Butts to lead the collaborative effort to
secure one of the most important airport systems in the world. We believe
Chief Butts is ideally suited and qualified to bring together the score of
local and federal agencies working at our airports in a unified command
The nationwide search that led to Chief Butts was conducted by Bob Murray &
Associates of Roseville, Calif., a leading search firm for high-profile law
enforcement positions. Forty-eight applicants representing a wide range of
law enforcement, security and aviation backgrounds were considered. Murray
has over 20 years of experience as a recruiter, with an extensive list of
prior law enforcement and security-related searches conducted for a variety
of jurisdictions across the country, including the most recent police
chief's recruitment for the LAPD.
"The more than 85 airlines serving LAX and ONT are very pleased with the
selection of Chief Butts," said Dennis Olson, managing director of the
Airport Airline Affairs Committee. "He brings proven leadership to the
airports' and the airlines' most important mission -- the safety and
security of passengers and employees."
Under Chief Butts' leadership, violent crime in Santa Monica has reached
its lowest level since 1957. Additionally, the crime rate has been
significantly reduced by 63 percent since 1993 and continues to steadily
decline. Citizen complaints against officers have fallen by more than 50
percent in the same time period. Average annual liability for the
department is a very low $60,000 per year. Workers' compensation rates
have fallen by 55 percent in the past five years.
The environmentally friendly Santa Monica Police Department is widely known
for its effective use of state-of-the art technology and automated systems
to reduce crime, improve operations, and to increase safety, security and
service to the public. Chief Butts is also responsible for the Airport
Security detail at Santa Monica Airport. His police department has worked
with the California State Department of Homeland Security. He has
experience in counter-terrorism planning related to the City of Santa
Monica and Santa Monica Airport.
Before moving to his current position at Santa Monica in 1991, he served
nearly 20 years at the City of Inglewood (Calif.) Police Department as a
police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and deputy chief. He has
twelve years experience in Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) as an
operator, team leader and commander.
A resident of the City of Los Angeles, Chief Butts holds a Bachelor's
degree in Business Administration from California State University-Los
Angeles and a Master's in Business Administration from California
Polytechnic University-Pomona. He also holds a number of command and
management certificates from the California Commission on Peace Officer
Standards and Training (POST). He is a graduate of the POST Command
College and a past president of the Peace Officers Association of Los