The California State Assembly approved a bill Thursday, May 25th, granting additional powers and authority to Los Angeles World Airports police.
Los Angeles World Airports is the city agency that operates Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and three other Southern California airports.
In approving the bill, the Assembly rejected arguments suggesting that the upgrading of police powers would create con- fusion or that the bill was unnecessary, airport officials said.
The Los Angeles City Charter established the Airport Police Division of the airport department as an autonomous law enforcement agency with the primary responsibility for the security of the city’s four airports — LAX, Ontario International, Palmdale Regional and Van Nuys.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1882, sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer, gives airport police the additional authority needed to fulfill the full spectrum of duties, responsibilities and demands of protecting the airports as mandated by the voters, airport officials said.
The upgrading of airport police under the California State Penal Code to Section 830.1 was recommended by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).
The commission noted that “the duties and responsibilities of the LAWA peace officers flow directly from the Airport Commission.”
“We are very pleased that the State Assembly has recognized the importance of implementing the recommendation of the POST (California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training) study that was commissioned by the Los Angeles City Council,” city Board of Airport Commissioners president Alan Rothenberg and LAWA executive director Lydia Kennard said in a statement.
“We wish to commend and express our appreciation to Majority Leader Dario Frommer for his leadership and diligence in moving this important bill through the legislative process to give LAWA’s first responders the authority needed to do their jobs in the post-9/11 environment.”
The Penal Code 830.1 status for airport police is supported by the city Board of Airport Commissioners, the LAX Airlines-Airport Affairs Committee, the Peace Officers Research Association of California and the chief legislative analyst of the City of Los Angeles.
“AB 1882 is important for airport security and will be helpful in retaining top-notch airport police officers and recruiting quality candidates,” said James Butts Jr., the newly named LAWA deputy executive director for law enforcement and protection services.