Patrick Gannon, a former 34-year Los Angeles Police Department veteran who attained the rank of deputy chief, has been tapped to serve as the new chief of the Los Angeles World Airports police division.
Gannon will be responsible for law enforcement and security at Los Angeles International, LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys general aviation airports, as well as at LAWA’s aviation-related property in Palmdale. He will take over later this year and report directly to LAWA Deputy Executive Director for Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Arif Alikhan.
Michael Hyams, who has served as interim airport police chief, has been appointed as the new deputy chief.
As chief, Gannon will be in charge of the fourth largest law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County with more than 1,100 law enforcement, security and staff personnel.
“I am thrilled that Pat Gannon will be the next chief of the Los Angeles Airport Police,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “Pat served the Los Angeles Police Department with distinction for 34 years, and supervised over 1,700 employees.
“He understands policing, understands homeland security, and understands the importance of policing while serving the interests of the community. The Los Angeles Airport Police and the LAX community are fortunate to have such a distinguished law enforcement expert to be its next chief.”
City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the LAX area, was also pleased with the appointment. “I’m thrilled to have Pat Gannon take the reins of the Airport Police,” Rosendahl said.
“He brings to LAX a well-earned reputation for building consensus and working with local stakeholders to enhance public safety and security. The traveling public can rest assured with Chief Gannon at the helm, and I look forward to working with him.”
Gannon brings 12 years of executive management level experience with the LAPD. At the time of his retirement, he was serving as commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-South Bureau, where he was responsible for overseeing all law enforcement services delivered by four community police stations, a traffic division, and a homicide division.
At the Airport Police division, he will lead police and civilian security officers assigned to a wide range of law enforcement and security functions including police patrols, explosives detection, traffic enforcement, criminal investigations, counter-terrorism, and tactical response.
Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, who was critical of former Airport Police Chief George Centeno, expressed support at the Gannon takeover, saying the new chief has pushed for legislation that would give airport police peace officer status outside of LAWA.
“We are pleased that Chief Gannon will help with this important piece of safety legislation.” said McClain. “Not only will this fulfill the recommendations made by our state’s leading law enforcement authority, Peace Officers Standards and Training, but helps keep our entire community of Los Angeles protected.”
Gannon graduated from California State University-Dominguez Hills with a bachelor’s degree in public administration and from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in public administration. He has also successfully completed the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston and the West Point Leadership Program.
In 2011 he received the President’s Award for Community Partnerships from the Police Officer’s Association of Los Angeles County.