More than a month after withdrawing his nomination to head the Transportation Security Administration, Erroll Southers has announced his resignation as Los Angeles World Airports assistant police chief.
Southers, the assistant chief for Homeland Security and Intelligence who has commanded the Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness and Security Credentials sections of Airport Police, plans to resign effective Saturday, March 27th. The announcement comes after Southers dropped his nomination from President Barack Obama to become the new TSA administrator amid opposition to the appointment.
Upon learning of Southers’ resignation, airport officials praised his contributions to airport security.
“Chief Southers intelligence expertise has contributed significantly to the security of LAX,” Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said. “His knowledge has been recognized and sought after both nationally and internationally.—It is with particular gratitude that we wish him—great success in his future endeavors.”
Airport Police—Chief George Centeno added, “Chief—Southers contributed to the development—of an interdisciplinary counter-terrorism strategy and airport security design—that have become—a model for—airport law enforcement across the United States. His effectiveness in communicating with the myriad of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies at LAWA’s three airports resulted in the successful implementation of these measures at Los Angeles International—(LAX), LA/Ontario International—(ONT), and Van Nuys—(VNY) general aviation airports.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association President Marshall McClain, who were strong supporters of Southers’ TSA nomination, said they were sorry to see him leave but lauded his service to airport safety.
“While I am sorry to see him leave Los Angeles World Airports, I am grateful he will continue his career addressing emerging threats by educating the next generation of public safety experts at USC,” Villaraigosa said. “I thank him for his extraordinary service to Los Angeles and the nation.”
McClain said, “We are disappointed that Chief Southers has decided to leave his very important position at LAX. His unique background and expertise in homeland security made LAX safer and more secure.
“It will be a challenge to find someone of his stature to fill this vital position.”
Prior to joining the Airport Police in 2007, Southers served as deputy director of the California Office of Homeland Security and was a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent assigned to counterterrorism, foreign counter-intelligence and SWAT.
He previously worked as a Santa Monica police officer.