Panelists said there have been tensions between the two law enforcement agencies that have been aggravated by the peace officers association. They also concluded that LAPD is needed at LAX because of its specialized units, such as the bomb squad, and its ability to deal with domestic terrorist threats.
The complaint was lodged in June with three California congressmen — Reps. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley), Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita). Association leaders say they also have contacted Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles).
The FAA is now evaluating the matter to determine if there is enough evidence of diversion to request further action by the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman in Los Angeles.
Except for LAX and Long Beach, other airports in the region, such as Bob Hope in Burbank, John Wayne in Orange County and San Diego International, do not rely on two local law enforcement agencies for security. They either have their own force or contract with a single agency.
John Wayne pays the Orange County Sheriff's Department $15.6 million a year for about 100 officers, said Jenny Wedge, an airport spokeswoman. The amount includes deputy salaries, benefits, overtime and a $798,848 administrative fee. Long Beach police charge their airport an hourly rate plus a 30% administrative fee.
Times staff writer Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.