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Advancement within the Los Angeles Airport Police Division is of two types: (1) promotion and (2) assignment to a higher pay grade. The word "promotion" refers to an advance from one Civil Service class to another, such as from Police Officer to Detective or Sergeant. Promotion is always from an eligible list established by the Personnel Department as the result of a Civil Service examination. "Assignment to a higher pay grade" is assignment to a position carrying greater responsibility or expertise, without a change in Civil Service class. Examples would be reassignments from a Police Officer II to a Police Officer III position.


After completion of the six-month Police Academy training, Police Officers are assigned to Patrol Services Section. Probationary officers are assigned to a Training Officer during their 22 week field training period. The next two to three years are spent in patrol assignments.


The basic Sergeant position is a field supervisor position; this is the position for which Sergeant promotional candidates must demonstrate their qualifications. There are also administrative and specialist assignments for Sergeants.


Requirements and duties descriptions for higher ranks can be found in job bulletins published by the Personnel Department.


The first step in the career ladder with the Los Angeles Airport Police Division is Police Officer I. It is the entry-level classification given to all LA Airport PD recruits upon entering the Police Academy. For six months in the Police Academy, officers are taught criminal law, human relations, Spanish, and report writing. In addition, they are trained in tactics, firearms, and driving. Physical fitness and self-defense play a big part in Academy training. A Police Officer I will automatically advance to Police Officer II upon successful completion of his/her 18-month probationary period.


A probationary Police Officer II assigned to a patrol unit performs basic duties such as: responding to the scene of a crime or an accident; interviewing suspects and witnesses; writing crime reports; responding to radio calls; monitoring any suspicious activity of ongoing crimes; coordinating vehicular traffic;  booking suspects, evidence and transporting them to the appropriate Police Department facility; responding to citizens' and visitors' questions; preparing Daily Field Activity Reports; and performing numerous other activities in support of the community aviation policing philosophy.


With three years of experience as a Police Officer II, officers advance to the next step in the promotional ladder, Police Officer III. A Police Officer III is responsible for enforcing laws and ordinances; protecting life and property; issuing citations, making arrests, preparing reports; meeting with community members; working as a team member; and providing information to the public and departmental units. This position may also supervise as a Field Training Officer.


Much like a department manager, a Sergeant I supervises a squad or detail of Police Officers and/or civilian employees. A Sergeant I is required to provide instruction to assigned staff in the operation of their required duties. The basic capacity of a Sergeant I is field supervision, but administrative and specialized assignments are also available. Some Sergeants perform initial and follow-up investigation of crimes and perform surveillance work to detect or prevent crime.  


Promoting from a Sergeant I to a Sergeant II only requires a pay grade advancement interview. A Sergeant II position is a supervisory position with specialized and administrative assignments. A Sergeant II supervises a group of Police Officers and/or civilian employees and instructs them in the performance of their assigned duties.


After serving two years as a Sergeant, one is eligible to promote to the next classification on the ladder upon a successful completion of a competitive Lieutenant's examination and interview. Similar to a Second Level Manager for a large corporation, a Lieutenant I manages, plans, organizes, and directs the work of both sworn and civilian employees engaged in the operation of an assigned watch or a 24-hour team in a police division or an investigational unit or detail. They are in-charge of a specialized division or section, where he or she must apply sound supervisory principles and techniques to build and maintain an effective work force.


Upon completion of one year as a Lieutenant, one can advance to a Captain level, after passing a competitive Captain's examination and interview. A Captain, resembling a District Manager of a large corporation, serves as a Commanding Officer of a patrol division. The Captain is responsible for inspecting and overseeing the functions of the patrol officers and detectives to ensure compliance with the Department policies, procedures, regulations, and standards; supervising the administrative and support functions of non-sworn personnel; inspecting personnel, facilities, and tactics for safety and/or training needs; maintaining liaison with numerous municipal, governments, civic organizations, and private citizens to establish and maintain rapport to facilitate Department functions and to promote neighborhood safety and aviation community policing programs.


After one year of experience as a Captain, one can promote to a Assistant Chief position. A role similar to an Assistant General Manager or Vice President of a corporation, the Assistant Chief is the second highest rank in the Police Department and reports directly to the Chief of Police. They direct the activities of a geographic area or work in an office consisting of several divisions of the Los Angeles Airport Police Division.


The Chief of Police (COP) is the highest-ranking officer in the Police Division. As a General Manager of the Police Division, the COP is responsible for the planning, efficient administration, and operation of the Police Division under the authority of the Board of Police Commissioners. In this capacity, the COP directs, plans, and coordinates the enforcement of the penal divisions of the City Charter, the ordinances of the City, and the laws of the state and nation for the purpose of protecting persons and property and for the preservation of the peace of the community. The COP is responsible for testifying before the City Council, the state and national legislative bodies on law enforcement matters of importance to the City of Los Angeles; and, proposing new or amending existing legislation which could have an impact on law enforcement.


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