Airport Commission Reports 130 Suggestions To Improve LAX Security, Emergency Response
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Quarterly reports were announced Monday to be made on the implementation of some 130 steps aimed at improving responses to emergency situations and avoiding a repeat of failures that occurred during a fatal November shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the city’s airport-oversight agency.
Gerardo Hernandez, 39, was the Transportation Security Administration officer killed on November 1 when a gunman shot his way past security and into the passenger area of Terminal 3. Three additional people were injured.
Paul Anthony Ciancia, 24, the alleged gunman, is currently awaiting trail on federal charges, which include murder.
Executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, Gina Marie Lindsey, explained to the city Airport Commission that a “dashboard”, meant to track progress on steps to improve security and emergency response at city-owned airports, is “still a work very much in progress,” but also said that the commission should expect progress updates every three months.
The list of 130 actions stemmed from an initial 50 recommendations and 19 observations that were included in an “after-action” report, which was ordered by the commission. The report examined the city’s and emergency agencies’ response to the shooting, Lindsey said.
President of the Airport Commission, Sean Burton, said the implementation plan “was a major priority of this board and the mayor,” who intended to make certain “these were not recommendations that sat on a shelf.”
The report, which is 83 pages long, was released in March, and points out failures in communication and coordination between police and fire departments, which led to delays in the establishment of a unified command center.
Additionally, the various agencies were also unable to effectively communication due to incompatible radio systems, according to the report.
Dozens of recommendations were made by the report, aimed at strengthening security and emergency response. The report also warned that the Nov. 1 shooting could have been far deadlier had the perpetrator been more sophisticated or if there had been multiple suspects.
Following the meeting of the Airport Commission, LAX Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said the agency is working hard to prevent another active shooter scenario at the airport, including additional, specialized training.
“More guns don’t necessarily solve a problem,” Gannon said. “I think better coordination, better communication without stakeholders here will improve the safety.”
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