Union reps say more security needed at Van Nuys Airport

- Union representatives for Los Angeles airport police officers want city leaders to boost patrol-officer staffing at Van Nuys Airport, where there have been three security breaches and vandalism in recent months.

Union officials will speak at the City Council's Innovation, Grants, Technology, Commerce and Trade Committee meeting early this afternoon, when the security breaches will be discussed. The committee's chair, Councilman Bob Blumenfield, called on Los Angeles World Airport officials last week to give a report on the three security breaches and to offer up a "corrective action plan.''

The first breach of the city-owned airport took place in December, when vandals used bolt cutters to bypass the fence and spray-painted three private jets.

In March, a man crashed into a plane after driving a vehicle through the airport fence and crossing two active runways.

Earlier this month, a person climbed the airfield fence and caused more than $10,000 in damages to a car and two planes. 

Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association officials, who represent the officers who patrol the airport, said in a statement Monday that the breaches "are emblematic of the lack of attention paid to the airport by airport police management.''

"Perimeter breaches are happening at Van Nuys on an all too frequent basis,'' LAAPOA President Marshall McClain said. "Most of these incidents involve someone simply climbing over the fence or cutting their way through it. 

These breaches could be prevented or mitigated by adequately staffing patrol officer positions at the airport.''

LAAPOA represents sworn police and firefighters assigned to Van Nuys Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, which is also owned by the city of Los Angeles.

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