Press Release

Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association

LAAPOA Hails Swearing-In of Cecil Rhambo as LAXPD Chief

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association congratulates Cecil Rhambo on his swearing-in as Los Angeles Airport Police chief on Wednesday, November 6, and warmly welcomes him to his new post.

In the history of the LAXPD, which dates back to 1946, no police chief or safety/security executive has had the depth of on-the-ground and highly specialized policing experience, combined with civilian management experience, that Chief Rhambo has. He previously served with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and commanded in areas including Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB, more commonly known as SWAT), Arson/Explosive Detail and Emergency Operations Bureau, as well as the Crisis Negotiations and Mental Health Response Unit. Most significantly to Los Angeles World Airports, Chief Rhambo was a member of the LASD’s Aero Bureau and worked with the Metro Transit Authority in the policing of Metro rail and bus lines. He continued his public service after retiring from LASD in 2014 at the rank of assistant sheriff, becoming assistant city manager for the City of Carson and city manager of the City of Compton.  

LAWA CEO Deborah Flint, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have selected in Chief Rhambo a leader that LAAPOA highly respects at a crucial time of unprecedented growth at LAX and during the lead-up to very high-profile events like the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2020, the NFL Super Bowl in 2022, the College Football National Championship in 2023, the Tennis U.S. Open in 2023, the FIFA World Cup in 2026 and the Olympics in 2028. LAX will continue to be the focus of the world with these and other special events, making it crucial for LAXPD to have a chief who is ready for the challenges that accompany them. In addition, with the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) project coming to LAX, Chief Rhambo’s experience supervising the MTA countywide law enforcement patrol operations will help LAXPD as we undertake yet another new aspect of the multi-faceted job of patrolling the nation’s busiest airport.  

Chief Rhambo also brings a diverse heritage to LAXPD, a majority-minority police force. As the first multiracial, Korean- and African-American chief in the Department’s history, he is an inspiration to those who may be considering the honorable profession of policing during very trying times for law enforcement.  

“Since the announcement of the appointment of Chief Rhambo, the morale within LAAPOA has surged,” says LAAPOA President Marshall McClain. “LAWA has never before had a chief of his caliber and experience, and we continue to be grateful to CEO Flint, President Wesson and Mayor Garcetti for this inspiring choice. Chief Rhambo’s leadership will change the culture of the airport police force and instill the values of respect, dedication and diversity among its officers and its higher-ups. As we celebrate his swearing-in tomorrow, LAAPOA looks forward to working with him to advance the Department into the future.”