Legislation has recently passed that sees the powers of Los Angeles Airport Police expanded. The Los Angeles Airport Police department employes over 1,100 sworn officers who oversee security at LAX, Ontario International Airport, Van Nuys Airport, and a general aviation facility.
The bill was introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Steve Bradford of Gardena, California and gives police the power to confiscate firearms and other deadly weapons, seize explosives, remove unsafe vehicles from the street, utilize explosives in the training of police dogs and enforce the laws related to false reports of bombs.
Before the Los Angeles Airport Police Department was given these powers, they were forced to rely on LAPD officers. In some cases, LAPD officers capable of handling these situations were not immediately available, so the law is going to increase the efficiency with with Airport Police can handle things.
It has been about ten years since the first time the idea to make these changes came up, but it ran into stiff opposition via opponents like Mayor Villaraigosa as well as the LAPD. Now, both the LAPD and the police Chief Charley Beck support the bill. The only opposition came from The Los Angeles Police Protective League and The Riverside Sheriffs Association.
The reasons for previous resistance to the bill is because some parties were concerned that expanded powers might hinder the efforts to merge the Los Angeles Airport Police with the LAPD.