In the wake of Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA) announcement that they intend to appoint Chief of Airport Police David L. Maggard Jr. as the Deputy Executive Director for Law Enforcement and Homeland Security, effective August 5, LAAPOA has reflected on its standards and values in desired leadership.
LAAPOA has voiced its concerns over Maggard’s appointment, stemming from a questionable atmosphere of leadership since he joined the department in 2016. This atmosphere left many law enforcement personnel feeling as though management had become petty, unprofessional, difficult to work with and unreceptive to the needs of other officers. Despite overwhelmingly negative feedback on Maggard’s performance, he has secured yet another leadership appointment.
LAXPD Chief David Maggard
In order for LAX to distinguish itself and uphold a gold-standard level of service, integrity, fairness and effectiveness, it should put in place police leadership that exemplifies those qualities. The Los Angeles Airport Police Department needs a leader who listens to and values their officers while also prioritizing the safety and security of the airports above all. Today, we are calling for a leader like that to be our next Chief of Police.
In order to form an effective chain of command, it is imperative that the executive management of LAWA hear the comments, concerns, encouragement and criticisms of the rank and file who serve under them. Without consideration of the officers who serve on the ground from day to day, the mission of protecting one of the nation’s largest airports becomes disjointed. Management must be able to both value and govern its officers with respect and authority and, in turn, airport officers must feel as though they are being heard and are valued. Under current police leadership, they do not, and this compromises the effectiveness of communication among the chain of command. This alone prompts an examination of current management — an action that LAWA has not taken — and is something that LAWA should not overlook in its consideration of appointments to new leadership.
“Police officers are often overlooked, especially in an airport environment like LAX — until something happens, or when things go wrong, police are the first to be criticized even if we publicly state concerns and have a long history of seeking changes that could thwart or mitigate certain incidents,” LAAPOA President Marshall McClain says.
Maggard’s promotion reinforces the idea that the atmosphere of disrespect, ineffectiveness and disregard for the rank and file that the Maggard regime has created has become acceptable to airport management. For the betterment of the LAXPD and for the cohesiveness of establishing and maintaining airport security, we hope that the concerns of the community will finally be heard and that a leader will be appointed who can govern with integrity, dedication and respect for their fellow officers.