Contact: Officer Karla Ortiz (424) 646-5591
CHIEF OF AIRPORT POLICE GEORGE R. CENTENO RETIRES
(Los Angeles, California – January 26, 2012) On January 25, 2012, Chief George R. Centeno celebrated his retirement from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Police at a reception held in his honor at the Flight Path Museum at LAX.
He was joined by family, friends, co-workers, and LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey, Board of Airport Commissioners President Michael A. Lawson, Vice President Valeria C. Velasco, Fernando Torres-Gil, Deputy Executive Director Arif Alikhan and a host of others.
Chief Centeno started his career at LAWA in February 2007 as Assistant Chief and shortly thereafter was appointed as the Chief of Police in December 2007. Chief Centeno managed one of the nation’s largest aviation law enforcement agencies with more than 1100 sworn and civilian employees. Under his command, crime statistics at LAX dropped by 27% for 2011 and 50% during his five year tenure. Chief Centeno’s career to serve others began in the military with the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. As a Sergeant he was recognized with several service medals. During his career at Santa Monica Police Department, his dedication to helping others gained him the “Medal of Courage” and a “Life Saving Medal”.
Chief Centeno not only reached professional achievements, but personal ones as well by pursuing higher education and training. Chief Centeno earned an Associate Arts Degree, Bachelor Degree and graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy. He holds a credential with the Executive Management Certificate and currently is the Vice President of the Hispanic Command Officers Association.
At his retirement reception, Chief Centeno was presented with several acknowledgements and recognitions by the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Airport Police Supervisors Association and the Hispanic Command Officers Association. LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey expressed her appreciation by thanking Chief Centeno for his extraordinary service to LAWA and reminding all in attendance that while the Chief’s leadership and work ethic will be missed, he has certainly earned the time he will spend now with his family. Deputy Executive Director Arif Alikhan also spoke about Chief Centeno’s commitment to this organization and his influence to the growth of Airport Police by making significant changes.
Chief Centeno expressed his gratitude and described how his commitment to the department has supported its mission.
Los Angeles Airport Police is the fourth largest law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County with more than 1,100 law enforcement, security and staff personnel. Airport Police is a division of LAWA, the City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates three airports in Southern California: Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT) and Van Nuys (general aviation).
From left to right: Los Angeles World Airport Deputy Executive Director Arif Alikhan,Aiport Police Assistant Chief Brian A. Walker,(Retired) Chief George R. Centeno, Assistant Chief Ethel McGuire, and Chief Michael T. Hyams
Photograph Courtesy Airport Police Officer Johnny Pan