Since September 11th, 2001, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has been adding new emergency plans to prepare for a major disaster associated with terrorism, LAPD officers say.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has been named the number one terrorist target in California.
Prior to 2001, the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles focused emergency plans on natural or manmade disasters such as earthquakes or industrial accidents by establishing the Emergency Operation Organization for the city.
With funds provided by the State Homeland Security Grant Program and the federal Urban Area Security Grant Initiative, the LAPD claims it now has the ability to investigate and respond to acts of terrorism.
The police department is placing its efforts on training, investigation and response.
TRAINING — LAPD officers receive eight hours of training on weapons of mass destruction.
The training includes information about the cause of domestic and foreign terrorism, recognition of precursor chemicals, weapons of mass destruction equipment and equipment used to respond to a terrorist incident.
LAPD training operations have been held with airport police and police at the Port of Los Angeles.
In development are expanded training and unified operations with the City of Los Angeles Fire Department.
Training will continue until all City of Los Angeles agencies that need to respond to a terrorist incident are integrated into a response team.
INVESTIGATION — The LAPD ability to investigate a terrorist act before the act is carried out has been enhanced through LAPD involvement in the Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning Group and the Los Angeles Task Force on Terrorism and the establishment of a Terrorism Threat Assessment Center, LAPD officers claim.
RESPONSE — Bomb Squad, HazMat, SWAT and Air Unit capabilities have been enhanced through training and technological advances, the officers say.
OPERATION ARCHANGEL — Archangel is a partnership of the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, California Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Archangel is designed to identify locations in Los Angeles considered prone to terrorist targets.
JOINT CENTER — A Joint Regional Information Center is being built to serve the five-county Southern California region that includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties.
The center’s purpose is to collect counter-terrorism information for the region, analyze data, and provide law enforcement with 24-hour access to terrorism information.
HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER — Since June, the LAPD has had personnel assigned to the Homeland Security Operations Center, a 24-hour, seven-day nerve center for information and incident management.
Information, (213) 485-3586.