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LAX airport police seek increased cooperation from the LAPD


Airport police who patrol Los Angeles International Airport and belong to a separate department contend that Los Angeles Police Department operators have regularly contacted only LAPD officers, even though they may be farther away and take longer to reach the airport, even when the most serious calls come in.

The situation has emerged as a safety concern for the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn., which recently wrote a letter to Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith, who chairs the council's public safety committee. The association, which represents 425 LAX officers, demanded that something be done.

"We are talking about things happening in a terminal where officers are stationed and they are not being notified," said Marshall E. McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn. "We need to be aware of incidents so we can respond. There are both safety and liability concerns. Someone could get hurt."

Los Angeles police said that improving communications between the two departments was a primary goal, but they disagreed with some of the association's claims.

Based on department records, Lt. John Romero, an LAPD spokesman, said that from Jan. 1, 2009, to May 26, 2010, airport police were notified in most cases. He also said airport police can monitor LAPD's radio calls and broadcast on the department's frequencies.

"Part of any good relationship is a free flow of information and a commitment to making improvements at every opportunity," said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. "The LAPD and LAXPD enjoy a good relationship and are committed to examining the concerns of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn."

Airport Police Chief George Centeno said the airport police association took its concerns to the department's commanders in March and meetings were held with LAPD. Since then, he said, airport police have been notified of 911 calls by LAPD.

Read the full story here.

-- Dan Weikel and Andrew Blankstein

Photo credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (6)

It is highly unfortunate public safety must be in the middle of turf wars which echo within law enforcement. Airport Police v. LAPD, is only one example of rivalry and is not unique. Darren Chaker

The Mayor should have only one police department in the City of Los Angeles. Leave police work to the experts such as LAPD and leave security work to LAX Security Department. Officer McClain is a joke and those that follow him will be working security forever.

...maybe for a pie eating contest I'd notify LAXPD first...but other than that, I'd would want the City Police to repond...

laxpd should be adsorb by lapd. the laxpd wants to be more than they are, security with guns. it will be a matter of time lapd will take over. there, i will vote for it as a citizen. it just makes sense.

The Los Angeles World Airport Police Department's union, once again, has clearly demonstrated their lack of training and expertise. If there were merit to this issue, their chief would have made it.

More importantly, this issue, or any similar issue should have been dealt with in private. Anyone who has acutal experience in dealing in terrorism, anti-terrorism or combat knows that you NEVER publize or bring to public attention any such issue. This is yet another demonstration of a public safety organization lacking common sense, and one whose self interest continues to take presedence over public safety.

LAPD taking over is more LAPD heavy handed tatics to control the city, LAPD has the same problems as any other agency can we say rodney king ! live the airport alone along with GSD AND THE PORT POLICE !


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