The functions of patrol services are incorporated into all aspects of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Police operations, but the Patrol Services Section (PSS) component has the primary responsibility for achieving patrol objectives. PSS provides continuous patrol coverage on a 24-hour basis with overlapping shifts and provides the major portion of first-line law enforcement services for Los Angeles World Airports at LAX and Van Nuys (VNY).
Under the direction of the commanding officer, the PSS is responsible for providing a 24-hour law enforcement presence in and around LAWA property. Patrol Services Section seeks to protect life and property, and maintains high visibility to deter, prevent and suppress crime. Officers respond to calls for service, apprehend criminals, perform traffic-related functions, and respond to calls from Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening stations in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations. Officers respond to both emergency and non-emergency calls for service throughout LAX and VNY, including: passenger check-in lobbies, baggage-handling and baggage-claim areas, boarding gates, food-and-beverage and retail concessions, parking lots, air cargo facilities, aircraft maintenance hangers, etc. Officers also patrol along the airports' perimeters and respond to calls from tenants on LAWA-owned property adjacent to LAX and VNY. PSS officers ensure airport-wide employees and organizations comply with the provisions of the Airport Security Programs, as well as provide for the public's safety during major aircraft incidents, terminal evacuations, and other emergency situations.
The Patrol Services Section at LAX coordinates the above described functions through the missions of the following units:
Patrol Services Unit
The Patrol Services Unit manages a range of law-enforcement-related calls mentioned above; meets federal mandates as required by TSA and provides continuous high visibility in the Central Terminal Area, terminal gates, Airfield, baggage claim areas, parking facilities, as well as other patrol functions.
Bicycle Patrol Unit
The Bicycle Patrol Unit supports the Patrol Services Section mission with specific emphasis on crime suppression and criminal apprehension in the LAX parking structures and outer parking lots. The unit maintains a high level of public contact with airport tenants, employees and passengers, and responds to calls for service in designated patrol areas and at the TSA screening stations in the terminals. Bike officers assist with traffic and crowd control in the Central Terminal Area and conduct random patrols on the Airfield Operations Area. Bike officers also handle unusual occurrences and special details at the airport, such as labor demonstrations, news conferences and other special events.
LAX Crime Task Force Unit
The LAX Crime Task Force Unit is a team of officers comprised of Los Angeles Airport Police and Los Angeles Police Department officers and detectives, who focus on apprehending criminals affecting the normal operations at LAX. This includes, but is not limited to, gathering and maintaining information concerning criminal activity in and around LAX. The unit conducts surveillance and other covert operations which lead to criminal apprehension. Officers assigned to the unit conduct criminal investigations and evaluate and track crime trends affecting airport operations while working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the global aviation system.
Court Liaison Unit
The Court Liaison Officer evaluates and makes recommendations to the City Attorney’s Office regarding the filing of Airport Police arrest and Complaint Application reports; coordinates subpoenas and court appearances of Airport Police employees; maintains records concerning dispositions of filed cases; assists the Court and the City Attorney’s Office in routine administrative matters related to Airport Police and Court in general; coordinates the disposition of evidence in Airport Police-related cases; collects data on defendants placed on court-imposed probation and publishes a list of those individuals on probation and; disseminates information on court cases that impact Airport Police operations.
Crime Scene Investigation Unit
Members of the Crime Scene Investigation Unit support the collection of latent prints and other types of evidence; enter fingerprint inquiries into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System; prepare crime and evidence reports and other documents; assist the LAX Crime Task Force Unit and Patrol Services personnel with preliminary and follow-up investigations; testify in court proceedings related to evidence collection; provide documentation on a variety of incidents including photography and videography; and train Airport Police personnel as needed.
Field Training Program
The Field Training Program manages a trainee’s transition from the academic setting to performance of general law enforcement duties. The Field Training Program introduces the officer-in-training to the personnel, procedures, policies and purposes of Los Angeles Airport Police, including general law enforcement duties, airfield security and traffic management.
The program also provides initial formal and informal training specific to the day-to-day duties of an officer. The one-on-one style of this training, coupled with the requirement of the Field Training Officer to guide the trainee in actual law enforcement situations, sets it apart from the trainee's academic endeavors. Every trainee must complete a six-month Police Officer Standard Training (POST)-approved police academy. Once completed, he or she must be assigned to and successfully complete a six-month Airport Police Training Program.