CONTACT: Officer Alicia Hernandez
AIRPORT POLICE DIGNITARY PROTECTION UNIT TO BE RECOGNIZED AT BOARD OF AIRPORT COMMISSIONER’S MEETING
(Los Angeles, California - March 16, 2012) The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners will recognize the Los Angeles Airport Police Dignitary Protection Unit (DPU) for their leadership, professionalism, expertise and dedication to protecting dignitaries arriving at and departing from Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA’s) three airports. The Board’s action will occur during its regularly scheduled public meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, March 19, 2012, in LAWA’s Clifton A. Moore Administration Building.
The Dignitary Protection Unit was established in 1986 to ensure officials and dignitaries receive the proper protection and courtesies while at Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT), and Van Nuys (VNY) airports. Dignitary protection services are provided ONLY to governmental officials and dignitaries. Entertainment, sports and other types of celebrities are excluded.
DPU officers develop comprehensive plans and coordinate dignitary arrivals and departures with other local, state and federal agencies, as well as with representatives of foreign governments, including: U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Department of State; California Highway Patrol; California Department of Justice; Los Angeles County offices of the District Attorney, Sheriff and Protocol; Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Protocol, and the Los Angeles Consular Corps. Many of these organizations have formally commended DPU’s efforts.
DPU serve as a resource and point of contact for foreign embassies, consulates, and protocol offices, and work closely with them to ensure members of the diplomatic corps are afforded their respective privileges, rights and immunities, as directed by international and federal statutes.
DPU officers communicate with airlines, other airport tenants, and other LAWA divisions to ensure a dignitary arrival or departure does not interfere with everyday airport operations. All of these officers excel in their duties of successfully coordinating numerous details with the assistance of other Airport Police units and several partner agencies to ensure the safety of the dignitaries.
Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Michael Hyams said, "The officers assigned to DPU show commitment and dedication to every detail to ensure a seamless experience for all involved. Their work is highly complex and commendable."
DPU is currently comprised of one sergeant and four officers: Sergeant Fernando Franco, a 22- year veteran; Officer Victor Guirguis, a 26-year veteran; Officer Tony Lopez Jr., a 14-year veteran; Officer Shawn Maldonado, a nine-year veteran; and Officer Charles Jarvis, an eight-year veteran.
The unit averages approximately 200 protection details monthly. However, during February, the unit coordinated 235 details, including several high-profile details. During a three-day period in February, DPU successfully led simultaneous coordination details for the arrivals and departures of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, members of the British and Jordanian royal families, numerous Olympic Committee members, and 30 other dignitaries.
“We are very proud of this excellent team of officers and their exemplary dedication to their duties by successfully coordinating numerous details with the various agencies involved,” said Lt. Karen Schulz. “Their leadership, talent, and dedication make each and every event a unique and pleasant experience for those who receive dignitary protection services.”
Los Angeles Airport Police is the fourth largest law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County, with more than 1,100 law enforcement, security and staff personnel. Airport Police is a division of Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.