The Los Angeles Port Police
At the core of port security is the Los Angeles Port Police force, a specialized law enforcement agency that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the Port from threats whether by land, sea, air or cyberspace. Comprised of more than 300 sworn officers and civilian personnel, the force’s jurisdiction spans 7,500 acres along 43 miles of waterfront.
In addition to using advanced technology to augment its security operations, Port Police capabilities include K-9 units for vessel and container searches; a full-time dive unit for inspecting critical infrastructure; a Cargo Theft Interdiction Program to prevent and investigate cargo theft; a marine unit for conducting high visibility patrols to deter and detect infrastructure threats; a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area anti-drug task force for targeting drug trafficking activities; and a Sea Marshall Program to inspect all inbound and outbound cruise ships and vessels of interest.
Law enforcement veteran Thomas E. Gazsi currently serves as Chief of the Los Angeles Port Police. For those interested in a potential career with the LA Port Police, an online application can be completed here.
Close collaboration and information sharing with multiple government entities is critical to the Port Police’s mission to monitor and keep safe vast miles of waterfront and land-based facilities. The force has a long and impressive track record of successful joint operations with other local law enforcement agencies, as well as state and federal government partners.
Port’s security agency partners include the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, California State Allied Law Enforcement Agencies, California Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Long Beach Police Department and Port of Long Beach.
Multi-agency collaboration includes use of comprehensive, integrated threat detection and incident management systems that facilitate real-time communication and sharing of crucial information. The Port’s Threat Detection Center—the first of its kind for any port in the world—uses more than 460 “smart” cameras that provide surveillance of critical Port infrastructure assets around-the-clock. Augmenting these cameras are submerged sensors that detect threats below the water’s surface as well. Data captured by the Center has proved invaluable not only to the Port’s security and safety mission, but for the many security agencies that have also benefited from the sharing of this information.