The head of the union representing Los Angeles airport police said in a letter to LAX's police chief that the airport is more vulnerable to a terrorist attack than at any time since Sept. 11, 2001. In the letter, obtained by KNX 1070 Newsradio, Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association president Marshall McClain states …
… Cost-cutting reductions in the deployment of Security Officers in the Traffic Control Unit, and police and security officers in the Central Terminal Area combined with severe cuts to the budgets for training, and the replacement of vehicles and equipment are making LAX more vulnerable to a terrorist attack than at any time since 9/11.
In the letter to LAX Chief George Centeno, McClain also calls out Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for claiming that airport police staffing would be increased even as the city faced a serious budget deficit for the current fiscal year. Los Angeles World Airports is a city department that runs LAX, Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport.
The airport police constitute a 400-officer force with jurisdiction for those facilities; Los Angeles police are charged with helping out at LAX and Van Nuys.
McClain says reductions in the force “are all the more perplexing and troublesome in light of Mayor Villaraigosa's public statements earlier this year that LAX security would be increased.”
The union head says random vehicle checkpoints at LAX, a known terrorist target since before 9/11, have been cut back. The cuts send “the wrong message to would-be terrorists who may be planning an attack,” according to the letter.