(April 15, 2002) -- The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has given LB City Hall a $2.862 million grant as part of post Sept. 11 special security funding made available to airports by Congress and handed out by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
A release from the City Manager's office announced that LB Airport received roughly the same amount as NY's JFK Airport, the 3d highest in CA (only LAX and SFO received larger amounts). The release said the funds, made available by Congress in the Defense Department 2002 Appropriations Act and awarded by the U.S. D.O.T. in a grant application process, will help defray costs for additional law enforcement personnel, Airport surveillance and the revalidation of all Airport-issued identification badges.
The release includes quotes from LB officialdom. City Manager Henry Taboada said the funds would help offset unbudgeted security costs for 2002. "The grant will cover increased overtime for Airport security and maintenance staff; two new full-time LGB [LB Airport] Security Officers and tow new part-time Security Officers to supplement the Airport security staff. It also includes increased security provided by Long Beach Police," Mr. Taboada said.
Mayor Beverly O'Neill said the "homeland defense funding demonstrates that our consistent work with the federal government has paid off, resulting in greater security for our City." She added, "Passenger traffic in January and February 2002 is 50% greater than it was in 2001. Long Beach Airport is a gem and new travelers are discovering our great airport daily. Our airlines, American, America West and JetBlue are working with Airport staff to make LGB the safest and most convenient Airport in the Los Angeles Area."
5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell, elected to her second term last week, noted airport security had changed dramatically since Sept. 11 with new requirements being constantly mandated. Councilwoman Kell credited what she called concerted efforts by LB Airport security staff, LBPD, LBFD, the National Guard, Globe Security the three major airlines flying from LB Airport for no major security related airline service disruptions.