SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

June 01, 2006 21:24 ET


LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 1, 2006 -- Following is a statement from Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Lydia H. Kennard regarding Assembly Bill 1882 that proposes change of status for Los Angeles Airport Police officers.

The report of the State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training speaks for itself: Los Angeles Airport Police need additional authority to fulfill their duties and responsibilities as first responders in the post-9/11 era.

In May 2005, the voters of Los Angeles decided by a 65 percent vote that the specially-trained Airport Police is the law enforcement agency of choice to protect our airports. Additionally, the City Charter requires the Airport Police to be an independent law enforcement agency protecting the City's airport under the direction of the Mayor, the Board of Airport Commissioners and the Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports.

Assembly Bill 1882 gives Airport Police the additional authority needed to fulfill the full spectrum of duties, responsibilities and demands of protecting the airports as mandated by the people of Los Angeles. Los Angeles Airport Police receive the same level of police academy training as LAPD, plus specialized aviation security training. Presently, Los Angeles Airport Police are the only first-responder police officers at a California international airport without California Penal Code Section 830.1 status.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has clearly articulated aviation security as a top priority for his Administration. He recently convened a meeting between top officials of LAPD and LAWA to discuss ways to continue the positive relationship that exists on the airport among all law enforcement agencies. We appreciate his leadership on this issue.