Authority Adopts Public Safety Enhancements — Combines Oversight of Police And Fire Departments; Adds Officers to Police Force And Augments Training

Airport Police Officers to Receive Training Equivalent to Municipal Departments on Initial Hiring; Force to Grow from 19 to 34 Positions

BURBANK, Calif., October 19, 2001 — The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has undertaken several key measures to enhance law enforcement and firefighting services at the airport, based on recommendations by the Authority’s ad hoc committee on security and public safety formed after the attacks of September 11th.

The measures include:

  • Establishing the position of Director of Public Safety and consolidating the oversight of the Airport’s Police Department and Fire Department under that position
  • Enhancement of police officer training for new hires and existing officers to levels equal to standards for most municipal departments in California
  • Increasing the Airport Police Department from 19 to 34 positions
  • The Authority directed that recruitment for the additional peace officers begin immediately.  The vote, taken in closed session October 15, was 7-0, with one commissioner absent.

Executive Director Dios Marrero announced the measures and noted that the Authority intends to adjust peace officer salaries in accordance with the increased training.  The adjustments will be negotiated with the Airport peace officers union.

He also emphasized that the training will be certified by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T), an optional training standard observed by many municipal police departments in the state.  Airport police are already sworn peace officers and meet standards specified by state and federal law, but their initial training requirements have not been P.O.S.T.-certified. They also receive special aviation law training that municipal officers are not normally given.

The new measures stem in part from increased requirements by the Federal Aviation Administration for more law enforcement personnel at airports following the East Coast terrorist attacks.  As an interim measure, the Authority has been augmenting the Airport Police Department with officers from the police departments of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena.

The ad hoc committee, which included Authority Commissioners Chris Holden of Pasadena, David Newsham of Burbank and Carl Povilaitis of Glendale, also felt the increased training and salary would enhance recruiting efforts and promote long-term improved safety and security for the traveling public, Marrero said.