Los Angeles Airport Police Officer Kelly Washington, a 14-year veteran assigned to the Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis Unit, was recognized by the Westchester Elks Lodge at its Law Enforcement Appreciation Night March 13.

Washington, who has been a city of Los Angeles employee for 24 years, began his career with the Airport Police in 1998 and was promoted to field training officer in 2000. In 2001, he was appointed to the VAAU (then known as the Airport Security Coordination Unit), a division of Airport Police’s Office of Homeland Security and Intelligence, where he is assigned to cargo facilities.

Washington, who has served as the unit’s lead instructor in Vehicle Inspection Training and Escort Policy Training classes, continuously conducts training classes and briefings for Airport Police, airlines and tenants to ensure the safest environment possible for all those working at Los Angeles International Airport, according to Airport Police.

He has also been instrumental in the assessment and implementation of the Transportation Security Administration cargo security measures in addition to developing the first-ever Cargo Task Force, which is now a multi-agency cargo security program adopted at other airports nationwide, police said. He currently oversees the program at LAX.

“Officer Washington is the type of officer who all police chiefs want. He is a leader, reliable and an expert in what he does,” Airport Police Chief Michael T. Hyams, who spoke during the ceremony, said.

“I can trust him to make good decisions in difficult situations. He is a problem-solver, not a problem-creator. We are all fortunate to have Kelly on our team.”

Sgt. Jorge Montenegro, who supervised Washington while at VAAU, added, “Officer Washington serves the LAX community without waver or question. He responds to and addresses matters immediately and finds out what’s necessary to know if he doesn’t already have the answers.”