The new LAX Recruitment and Training Center was opened by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and officials from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Wednesday, August 16th.

The center is the first such facility at a U.S. airport to be dedicated to recruiting, testing and training federal transportation security officers and airport police officers, and underscores the close cooperation between LAWA (the City of Los Angeles Agency that operates LAX and other city airports) and the federal Transportation Security Administration, airport officials said.

The new center is in a two-story, 22,000-square-foot facility at 5520 Arbor Vitae St., Westchester, one mile east of the airport’s Central Terminal Area.

“Job creation is one of the cornerstones of my administration,” Villaraigosa said. “Los Angeles International Airport is a tremendous economic asset to our city.

“Over 50,000 people work at LAX, and another 350,000 Southern Californians indirectly owe their jobs to operations at the airport. A hundred jobs become available every month at LAX, which has more than 300 employers.

“I’m committed to ensuring that people who are looking for jobs learn about these opportunities.”

The establishment of the LAX Recruitment and Training Center “is tangible evidence of the excellent relationship between the Transportation Security Administration and Los Angeles World Airports to ensure the public’s safety and airport security,” said LAWA executive director Lydia Kennard.

“Over 2,000 Transportation Security Officers are serving the traveling public at LAX,” said Lawrence Fetters, TSA federal security director-LAX. “The fact that our security screening operations are going smoothly — and that we were able to respond quickly to the new security measures implemented last week — is a testament to the excellent relationship we have with LAWA and the City of Los Angeles.

“The success of the TSA this summer at LAX can be directly attributed to this facility, as it helped us accelerate our hiring program in time to meet our needs for this summer’s peak travel period.”

The Transportation Security Administration, which leases 3,300 square feet of the building, provides computers for job applicants to access the TSA’s on-line job application program and conducts computer-based tests, candidate interviews, background fingerprinting, color vision and other simple physical ability tests.

The federal agency also conducts week-long classroom training of newly hired federal transportation security officers, who perform passenger and checked luggage security screening at LAX.

The TSA has over 2,000 full-time-equivalent security officer positions at LAX. The agency also is looking at making its testing and training facility available to TSA operations at other Southern California airports.

The LAWA Los Angeles Airport Police Division, the primary law enforcement agency at LAX, is consolidating its recruiting, testing and training activities ñ currently dispersed at several airport locations — into the new center.

Airport Police will offer job applicant testing on a weekly, drop-in and one-day expedited basis at the center, as well as conduct assessments and interviews.

New hires will also begin month-long, pre-academy training at the new center, in which recruits are familiarized with the skills necessary for success in the police academy, including study skills, test-taking and physical fitness.

After graduating from the police academy, Los Angeles Airport Police officers will continue with their weeks-long airport-security-specific training in the new facility.

The new center also will be used for continuing professional training of current Airport Police officers in areas such as arrest and control, National Incident Management System, legal updates, and other skill sets necessary to ensure the safety and security of LAWA airports and compliance with California Police Officers Standards and Training requirements.

Los Angeles Airport Police currently has nearly 400 authorized sworn officer positions at LAX, plus traffic officers and security officers.

The Los Angeles Airport Police Division has also announced the launch of its new Internet Web site at www.laxpd.com, where information about the Airport Police recruitment process and training is available.

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