The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has received authorization from the County Board of Supervisors for the purchase of a new patrol boat to be used for response and rescue operations related to potential attacks to aircraft departing from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) over water.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, July 5th, to authorize the county purchasing agent to proceed with the purchase of the new patrol boat on behalf of the county Sheriff’s Department, said David Sommers, Supervisor Don Knabe spokesman.

The new patrol boat will be based out of the County Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station.

The boat’s primary purpose will be the prevention, interdiction, response and rescue related to potential attacks to aircraft out of LAX, Sommers said.

The Board of Supervisors has approved additional funding of $850,000 for the watercraft for a total cost of $3.7 million. Funding for the patrol boat purchase will come from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant.

Costs include patrol boat equipment and training for boat operators, Sommers said.

An additional use for the watercraft will be open ocean operations, Sheriff’s officials said.

“A secondary role is open water rescues related to Homeland Security rescue operations,” Sommers said.

The patrol boat contains equipment to help improve the Sheriff’s Department response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks, he said.

Sheriff’s officials said the new watercraft will also ensure that the first responders are better prepared to respond to terrorism events.

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