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Captain LaPonda Fitchpatrick

Captain LaPonda Fitchpatrick (Retired) was responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the global gateway known as LAX and its satellite airports for over 30 years, retiring as a commanding officer within the Los Angeles Airport Police Department (LAXPD).  LaPonda is a nationally recognized aviation law enforcement and security expert that has developed security systems, methods and procedures, and professional standards that are utilized by a myriad of local, state, federal, and international aviation security and law enforcement agencies that secure the global aviation environment.  After 9-11, LaPonda conceived and implemented the Los Angeles Airport Police Homeland Security Section to ensure multi-agency law enforcement and public safety activities and response is properly coordinated to reduce LAX’s vulnerability to a terrorist event or catastrophic emergency.  This included the development of the nation’s largest airport law enforcement bomb detection K-9 unit, expedited multi-agency intelligence sharing, and an on-site tactical response unit tailored to the aviation environment.  

Understanding the importance of information sharing and training, she modernized and wrote the State of California mandated Aviation Security for Law Enforcement Officers training course as a consultant to the California Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission (POST).  She created a training curriculum that addressed the multi-cultural and dynamic venue that a global system such as aviation presents with a concentration on terrorism and its global effect on aviation security.  Post-9/11, taking this training curriculum nationwide, she has trained over 3500 police officers, TSA and other aviation security personnel, which included the entire law enforcement components for Atlanta-Hartsfield, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, and Okaloosa County Airports Police Departments.  She has been a member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Transportation Security, Training, and General Aviation Airports Committees, and the National Cargo Task Force that have made recommendations to local, state, and federal agencies in the development of aviation security related policies, procedures, regulations, and training.  She has been an instructor for AAAE in aviation security since 2002, and is an Airport Certified Employee (ACE). She taught the first International Airport Certified Employee (IACE) security course for AAAE in the south pacific. Fitchpatrick is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 

Intrigued by the jihadist phenomenon and its ability to influence ordinary people to participate in extraordinary and out-of-character violent acts, Fitchpatrick returned to the classroom as a student to further her education in the field of Sociology as it relates to globalization and the effect on aviation and related workplace security. She had a concentration in diversity, religion, and other issues that also affect a global society. She received her B.A. from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Fitchpatrick obtained her instructor training certification through the Los Angeles Police Department’s Instructor Development Course approved by the California Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission and is a certified instructor in Franklin Covey’s Presentation Advantage©. An avid sports enthusiast, Fitchpatrick coached the men’s basketball and co-ed softball teams for the Los Angeles Airport Police and enjoys long-distance cycling.  Fitchpatrick is married to Bernard Fitchpatrick, a retired Los Angeles Police Department sergeant and they have three daughters, one son-in-law, and one granddaughter.

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