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LA Police Protection League Calls for Armed Police Officers at LAX Security Checkpoints

Both overall crime and violent crime increased at Los Angeles International Airport.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League is calling for armed police officers to be reinstated at LAX security checkpoints.

In an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Daily News, Tyler Izen noted that airport officials "recently reported a 10 percent increase in overall crime in 2013, and a nearly 500 percent increase in violent crimes - from only three in 2012 to 14 in 2013."

After the shooting at the El Al ticket counter in 2002, then-Mayor James Hahn "moved quickly to place LAPD officers at each TSA checkpoint inside LAX's nine passenger terminals," according to Izen. Hahn and his successor, Antonio Villaraigosa, "believed it was essential that an armed police officer stood between the non-sterile airport and the sterile aread just beyond each TSA checkpoint," according to Izen. "Without that officer in place at the checkpoint on November 1, 2013, Paul Anthony Ciancia was able to take control of Terminal 3 until officers on patrol shot him," according to Izen.

He cites data from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Train that LAX Airport Police ranks declined from 514 on January 1, 2010, to 495 on January 1 of this year. Izen argues that the reduction came as Los Angeles World Airports phased out LAPD sworn officers who were protecting the TSA checkpoints and as it ended "the high visibility LAPD motorcycle patrols of the Central Terminal Area." "The net effect is a reduction of approximately 80 to 100 sworn officers (LAPD and LAX Airport Police) protecting LAX in the last three years."

—City News Service

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