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Villaraigosa names panel to review security at LAX [Corrected]


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday announced the creation of a 26-member panel to thoroughly review security measures at Los Angeles International Airport, which has been identified as a top potential target for terrorists.

The panel will look into counterterrorism measures, law enforcement, fire services, emergency management and available resources to enhance safety at the nation’s third-busiest airport.

“We have continually made improvements to security at LAX,” Villaraigosa said, “but we must ensure our facility and protocols remain state of the art to prevent and disrupt potential threats.”

The effort is in response to security concerns raised earlier this year by news reports and the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn., which has questioned police staffing, the adequacy of police communications and whether LAX has become more vulnerable lately to terrorist attack.

The panel includes judges, federal and local law enforcement officials, attorneys, emergency management experts, airport officials, academics, business executives and high-ranking firefighters.

Appointed to the panel were:


  • Lourdes G. Baird, chair, United States District Court judge, Central District of California (retired), former United States attorney, Central District of California.

  • Judith C. Chirlin, vice chair, Los Angeles Superior Court judge (retired).

  • Douglas Barry, Los Angeles Fire Department chief, (retired).

  • Robert C. Bonner, former commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, former  administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency, former United States District Court judge, former United States attorney.

  • Ronald J. Boyd, chief, Los Angeles Port Police, former acting chief of the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.

  • Michael Downing, deputy chief, Los Angeles Police Department, head of the Counterterrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau.

  • Richard E. Drooyan, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, partner at the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson, former Assistant United States attorney. [Correction: A previous version of this post misspelled the name of the law firm]

  • Jeffrey P. Fegan, chief executive officer, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

  • James G. Featherstone, general manager, Emergency Management Department, city of Los Angeles, chairman of the National Advisory Council for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  • Steven L. Gomez, special agent in charge, Counterterrorism Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Los Angeles Field Office.

  • Michael Hillmann, assistant sheriff, Orange County Sheriff's Department (retired), deputy chief, Los Angeles Police Department (retired).

  • Bruce Hoffman, professor, Georgetown University, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, former chair in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency at RAND Corp.

  • Ronald L. Iden, senior vice president and chief security officer of the Walt Disney Co., former director of the California Office of Homeland Security.

  • John Linstrom, emergency management consultant, former unit commander with the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security.

  • James P. Lonergan, consultant, former fire chief, Massachusetts Port Authority, Boston Logan International Airport.

  • Ethel McGuire, assistant chief for homeland security and intelligence, Los Angeles Airport Police Department, former assistant special agent in charge and executive manager of the FBI’s counterterrorism branch.

  • Randy Parsons, federal security director at Los Angeles International Airport, former special agent in charge for counterterrorism at the FBI.

  • Alan Rothenberg, president of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

  • James Smith, consultant, emergency preparedness and management for airports.

  • Erroll G. Southers, associate director of USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, former assistant chief of the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.

  • Milind Tambe, USC professor of computer science and industrial and systems engineering.

  • Fernando Torres-Gil, Board of Airport Commissioners.

  • James A. Wall, TEES associate research professor, department of industrial and systems engineering, Texas A&M University.

  • Eileen M. Decker, mayor’s representative, deputy mayor for homeland security and public safety.

  • Greig Smith, City Councilman, District 12, head of the council’s public safety committee.

  • Ted Stein, former member and president of the Board of Airport Commissioners and the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.


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-- Dan Weikel

Photo: Credit Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (4)

Mayor Villar is such a fine choice based on how secure the city of LA is!

Oh, good! And I suppose he hired these 26 people and gave them a generous pay package too!

I am no longer amazed at the waste of this politician. Its so typical. Whats even more infuriating, is that not a one of those people have any background or experience in explosives or IEDs. Gee, and I would have thought that would have been a handy skill to have on a 26 member board of so-called security experts. Don't listen to me, I'm just another common everyday Bomb Tech.

Why is it that no field officers are included in evaluating the vulnerabilities? I mean these are the people doing the actual work of protecting LAX. The Mayor has a bunch of analysts which is needed but not by themselves. The group isn't diverse enough. I would suspect that most of these executives have forgotten the basics and now know virtually nothing of what the situation is out there. Think about how little your supervisor knows of the details of your job. Who knows more about the "holes in the fence" more than those driving by it. The solution is to include some grunts.


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