LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association (LAAPOA) applauds Wednesday’s approval of the purchase of 150 new police vehicles for Airport Police at LAX, a proposal championed by LAWA Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint.
For the last 7 years LAAPOA has repeatedly raised concerns regarding the state of Airport Police vehicles—as an overwhelming majority of the fleet is run-down and unsafe. Many of the vehicles in use have well over 100,000 miles—some with over 250,000 miles—broken seats, non-functioning seat belts and rusting roofs. Given that police patrol vehicles are in constant use under distressing circumstances the lifespan and functionality of a police car can diminish rapidly. The condition of the patrol vehicles, many of which are overdue for salvage, is not only unacceptable but also unsafe for both police officers and the citizens we serve and protect.
We’re please that within just over a year into her tenure as LAWA CEO, Ms. Flint has implemented a vehicle replacement plan that will ensure officers have new and functioning vehicles that will allow us to better perform our duties throughout our massive airport complex.
“On behalf of the men and women of LAAPOA I want to thank CEO Flint for making this happen,” said Marshall McClain, President of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association. “Our officers have been placed in the untenable position of operating vehicles that have been unsafe and often unable to perform policing functions. Officers have been injured or suffered ailments from the long-term lack of interest by airport management in addressing a vehicle erosion problem that has led to loss of productivity and loss of morale for the police who serve a great and distinguished airport. While previous airport management officials chose to ignore the gravity of this situation, CEO Flint has made this a priority. This is a positive sign and we want to fully acknowledge her efforts in this area. Between the evolving dangers of terrorism and the acts of violence our police, county and the world are currently facing, these new vehicles will ensure that our police have the best tools in our arsenal to protect travelers from these ever developing threats. We look forward to working with CEO Flint and her team on other policing and safety issues that have been ignored and have led to gaps in safety at LAX. This, however, is a good way to start.”
In addition to CEO Flint’s leadership, LAAPOA also thanks Airport Police Chief David Maggard, LAWA Chief Operating Officer Samson Mengistu, Sergeant Cutchlow and his staff who helped spearhead this effort ensuring Airport Police have functioning and safe vehicles to perform their jobs.