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Report: LAX police slacking off on the job

August 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles International Airport police can usually be seen on patrol routinely checking out parked cars and enforcing safety rules. But according to a report, police stationed inside the airport are conducting personal business when they should be watching out for anything suspicious.

The report says that complaints from passengers claim that officers are reading newspapers, talking on cell phones for personal calls or using computers.

A memo sent in June by the then assistant chief of police said they received several complaint letters and e-mails about it.

The Los Angeles World Airport said they, "consider distributing memos to employees reminding them of what they are supposed to do as part of good management practice and effective supervision. Such memos should not be interpreted that a serious problem exists."

Airport officials said they searched through their records and could not find the complaint e-mails and letters that the assistant chief said were received. They said they only know of one.

"One written complaint that LAWA is now aware of during the past year from among 56.5 million passengers does not indicate a serious problem," officials said in a statement.

Some fliers said they have not seen officers slacking off.

"I've never seen that," Averil Litt, a frequent flyer through LAX. "In all the five years we've been coming through here, I've never seen it. They have been courteous and good to us."

The reports claim that sometimes police officers congregate near the Transportation Security Administration area, but officials said that's because TSA rules require a certain ratio of officers to the number of screening lanes open.

"We believe the issue is about perception. We caution uninformed observers from jumping to the wrong conclusions that officers at the podiums are 'goofing off.'"

LAX airport police declined to comment.


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