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Patrick Gannon named to lead L.A. Airport Police Department

Gannon, a 34-year veteran of the LAPD, will oversee more than 1,100 officers who police LAX, Van Nuys, Ontario and Palmdale airports.

October 28, 2012|By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times

Former Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Patrick Gannon has been named chief of the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, officials said.

The 34-year LAPD veteran, whose assignments included running South Bureau Operations and Detective Bureau, will now oversee the fourth-largest law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County, with more than 1,100 law enforcement, security and staff members.

The agency is responsible for policing the Los Angeles International, L.A./Ontario International and Van Nuys airports, as well as the city of Los Angeles' Palmdale aviation property.

Gannon will oversee personnel responsible for police patrols and tactical response, counterterrorism, criminal investigations, traffic control, dignitary protection and regulatory enforcement, officials said in announcing Gannon's appointment last week.

Airport officials named Michael T. Hyams the new deputy chief of airport police, under Gannon. He served as interim airport police chief after the retirement of George R. Centeno in February and is to continue in that role until Gannon takes over at the end of November.

Gannon is known for his diplomacy, problem-solving and team-building. As deputy chief of the LAPD's South Bureau, he oversaw 1,700 officers in half a dozen police divisions that served nearly 1 million people.

"He's one of the people I most respect in all of law enforcement," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. "To have him as the leader of the airport makes Los Angeles a much safer place."

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