LOS ANGELES, CA – The Airport Police that patrol and secure LAX require facilities that can properly deal with the consequences of major issues at the airport such as a terrorist disruption to travel, as well as man-made and natural threats, such as a major earthquake. Given that LAX is the second busiest airport in the nation and a key transportation mode for the region, it is essential that we also have a facility that can properly house our officers and their equipment.
The current LAX police facility was built in the 1950’s. It is in a state of disrepair and cannot accommodate the necessary technology for our police officers to do their jobs. Among other issues, the buildings air conditioning has broken multiple times; water damage has ruined many of the walls leading to a mold infestation; and cosmetic-only painting enhancements have done nothing to alleviate the structural problems associated with a building that has not weathered its aged. It should be noted that non-LAX proprietary police including contracted LAPD, which has a state of the art substation at the airport, and federal counterparts, have modern, and more than adequate facilities. Despite these glaring differences, our former chief of police, Patrick Gannon, did nothing to demand that his officers have the basic facilities to do our jobs.
LAAPOA has repeatedly highlighted the run down condition of our headquarters and has been informed that funding restrictions prevent the construction of a new facility. Given the $5-billion to be expended on the Landside Access Modernization Program, the $20 million expended to update lighting and media monitors inside the terminal and the $1.9 billion expended to provide 18 new gates to the international terminal, the funds exist to update the Airport Police headquarters but management has chosen to not prioritize basic resources for airport police.
“A new airport police facility needs to be constructed at LAX to adequately accommodate our officers. Our dilapidated police headquarters, decaying patrol cars, outdated mobile incident command vehicle, and substandard operating equipment all speak for themselves,” said Marshall McClain, President of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association. “Given the billions spent on cosmetic enhancements to the airport, and a record-breaking number of passengers traveling through LAX, funding is available to address these operational and equipment concerns which directly affect our officer’s abilities to perform our work to the best of our abilities. LAAPOA hopes our next chief will focus on ensuring our officers have the resources they need to protect the travelers and employees of our airports and will advocate for a new police headquarters for our force.”