Department to be certified under criteria set by the California Peace
Officers Standards and Training Commission, an appointed state board.
Currently, applicants for airport police are given a general
background check, a written test, an interview and a medical check,
Burbank Airport Police Chief Tony LoVerme said. Once hired, officers can
make arrests and carry a gun, but they do not need to go through the
police academy before becoming officers.
Once they are employed, airport police undergo 96 hours of training
each year. In contrast, Burbank Police Department recruits go through 600
hours of training before becoming officers. Also, the airport police are
not visited by a commission inspector who checks up on hiring records and
"We think that the confidence of the public requires our
law-enforcement people to have the best training standards when compared
to other law enforcement agencies," said Dios Marrero, executive director
of the Airport Authority.
Since the middle of September, an ad hoc security committee for the
authority has sought ways to enhance long-term security at the airport.
The board's move will also raise pay rates and increase the size of
the department, said Victor Gill, Airport Authority spokesman.
The board also voted to consolidate the airport rescue and police
departments under one management arm while creating a new position, the
director of public safety.
The authority's move comes on the heels of recent concern in the state
capitol about airport and public-infrastructure security. "The
Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Police are not certified
sworn police officers who can make arrests," wrote Assemblyman Dario
Frommer (D-Burbank) in a memo on security.
Airport officials stress that their police are sworn peace officers
trained especially for airport work, regardless of POST standards.