CONTACT: Nancy Suey Castles
LOS ANGELES WORLD AIRPORTS APPOINTS PATRICK GANNON CHIEF OF AIRPORT POLICE.
(Los Angeles, California – October 24, 2012) Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) today announced the appointment of law-enforcement veteran Patrick Gannon as Chief of LAWA’s Airport Police Division. Chief Gannon will be responsible for law enforcement and security at Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT) and Van Nuys (VNY) general aviation airports, as well as at LAWA’s aviation-related property in Palmdale. He will report directly to LAWA Deputy Executive Director for Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Arif Alikhan.
Also announced today was the appointment of Michael T. Hyams as the new Deputy Chief of Airport Police where he will serve as second in command. Chief Hyams began with LAWA in September 2010, serving as Assistant Chief of Operations where he oversaw patrol, traffic and security. He has a distinguished career as a police executive and has served as Interim Chief of Airport Police after the retirement of George R. Centeno last February. He will continue to serve as interim chief until Gannon joins LAWA later this year.
Gannon retired from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) last summer after 34 years of service, of which 12 years were at the executive management level. At the time of his retirement, he was serving as deputy chief and commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-South Bureau. This bureau served 800,000 residents in South Los Angeles with 1,700 sworn employees and 150 civilian employees. In this assignment, Gannon was responsible for overseeing all law-enforcement services delivered by four community police stations, a traffic division, and a homicide division.
In his new position as Chief of Airport Police, Gannon will lead the fourth largest law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County with more than 1,100 law enforcement, security and staff personnel. Airport Police officers and Civilian Security Officers are assigned to a wide range of law enforcement and security functions including police patrols, explosives detection, traffic enforcement, criminal Investigations, dignitary protection, regulatory enforcement, access control, counter-terrorism, infrastructure protection, and tactical response.
"I am thrilled that Pat Gannon will be the next chief of the Los Angeles Airport Police," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Pat served the Los Angeles Police Department with distinction for 34 years, and supervised over 1,700 employees. He understands policing, understands homeland security, and understands the importance of policing while serving the interests of the community. The Los Angeles Airport Police and the LAX community are fortunate to have such a distinguished law enforcement expert to be its next chief.”
The mayor added, “I am also very pleased with Michael Hyams' appointment as the Deputy Chief of Los Angeles World Airports Police. He has done an outstanding job this past year as the Interim Chief of Airport Police and I am sure that he and Pat Gannon will be an excellent leadership team."
Los Angeles Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, whose Council District 11 includes LAX, said, “I'm thrilled to have Pat Gannon take the reins of the Airport Police. He brings to LAX a well-earned reputation for building consensus and working with local stakeholders to enhance public safety and security. The traveling public can rest assured with Chief Gannon at the helm, and I look forward to working with him."
Los Angeles Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who represents Council District 15 said, "As a 15-year veteran of the LAPD, and member of the Public Safety Committee and the Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee, I can say with complete confidence that Pat Gannon is the right person for this job. With over three decades of experience in the LAPD, Pat's leadership of the Airport Police will ensure LAX, LA/Ontario and Van Nuys airports will be safe, secure and prepared to confront the modern security challenges of the 21st century."
Los Angeles Councilmember Mitchell Englander, who represents Council District 12 and chairs the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, said, "LAX is one of the biggest economic engines in the entire region and is a prime potential terrorist target, so the work of the Airport Police is crucial. I am confident that LAX is in good hands with Patrick Gannon as Airport Police Chief. He is the right cop on top."
LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said, “Our core business is to run our three airports safely and efficiently. Public safety is our number one priority and the appointment of Chief Gannon will help us continue to meet that goal.”
Gannon graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in Public Administration. He has also successfully completed the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston and the West Point Leadership Program.
Gannon has received a number of awards for community policing and, in 2011, he received the President’s Award for Community Partnerships from the Police Officer’s Association of Los Angeles County.