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Saturday
May262012

SACRAMENTO: AB 2137, measure to expand powers of LAX police shelved in Assembly Appropriations Committee....

* Daily Breeze:  "State Assembly committee kills bill expanding powers of LAX police" - From the DB:

   A state Assembly committee on Friday shelved a measure aimed at expanding the powers of Los Angeles International Airport's police force, effectively killing the plan until at least the end of the year. The. . .Appropriations Committee held up a decision on Assembly Bill 2137, which would allow the officers who patrol LAX, Ontario and Van Nuys airports to perform seemingly routine functions on airport property.

   "We intend to keep running this bill until it's approved," said Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Police Officers Association, the union representing LAX's officers.

   ****

   A similar measure by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler quietly died last year in the Appropriations Committee. Representatives from LAX's police union said they will fight to make sure the measure is reintroduced in December, when it will be eligible for reconsideration.

   Without the bill's approval, airport police officers have to continue calling the Los Angeles Police Department for such duties as citing motorists after an accident, seizing firearms during domestic disputes or transporting explosives to help train bomb-sniffing dogs.

   The state's Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training supports the proposed changes for LAX's police department. The commission made similar recommendations for the police agencies at the orts of Los Angeles and San Diego, which were both granted the expanded duties several years ago. However, the union representing LAPD's officers oppose the change, claiming that it "undermines local control" and would lead to increased costs to train airport police officers.

   Airport police officers have been required since 2006 to go through the LAPD's Police Academy, meaning additional training would not be required, McClain said.

   "This is not about a turf war," McClain said. "It's about the traveling public knowing the airport police officers have everything they need to do their job to keep LAX safe."