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Emergency Preparedness Means Knowing the Right Number to Call

Everyone knows in an emergency they should call 9-1-1.

But what if you notice someone suspicious near airport property? Or if you want to report a safety concern? Or if you see a crime in progress?

Sgt. Acosta of the Van Nuys Airport Police says too often people call the wrong number and it makes it difficult for officers to respond.

“We get calls to our regular business office where we don’t have a dispatcher,” said Sgt. Acosta, who added that the airport is working hard to route calls more efficiently. “Tenants who need a police officer dispatched should call (310) 646-4268 or 1-866-4VNY-WATCH which will route the caller to dispatch.”

“The 310 number is the number for the Airport Police communications center at LAX,” said Acosta. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and dispatchers have direct radio contact to the officers and can assign them immediately to the location that needs attention.

“That number is also recorded so there’s a real record of every call and every response,” he said. “If you call the business office, they will try to reach the officers on their cell phone, but if the officer is in a dead zone or away from his phone, the call obviously isn’t handled as efficiently.”

In short, Acosta said there are four critical numbers for people to know and four situations in which to call them:

  • In a true emergency, you should dial 9-1-1.
  • For any airport issue that needs immediate police response: dial (310) 646-4268 or 1-866-4VNY-WATCH. You’ll be connected to the Airport Police communications center at LAX. The center is staffed 24/7/365, and a dispatcher can send help right away.
  • For an airport issue that does not need an immediate police response, dial the Van Nuys Police Business Office at (818) 442-6514.
  • For an issue off-airport, dial LAPD’s West Valley Division at (818) 374-7611.