The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Police Department was established in 1971. At that time the airport was run by the Lockheed Corporation and police related matters were handled by the Lockheed Department of Public Safety, a division Lockheed. Lockheed made the decision to sell the airport and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, a joint powers authority formed by the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, jointly purchased the airport from Lockheed in 1978.
The Authority was formed in accordance with section 6500 of the California Government Code and is a separate public entity from the three cities. The Authority is empowered to act on all matters concerning the airport and is made up of nine commissioners that are appointed by the City Councils of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena for a specific term. The police department was placed under the direction of the Airport Authority shortly after its inception and was thereafter referred to as the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Police Department. Airport Authority Police Officers have full police officer powers under the authority of 830.33 of the California Penal Code.
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The airport has changed names several times over the last 80 years, beginning in 1930 as United Airport; changing to Union Air Terminal in 1934; becoming Lockheed Air Terminal in 1940; Hollywood-Burbank Airport in 1967; Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport in 1978; and in 2003 it was renamed the Bob Hope Airport. It has also been commonly referred to as Burbank Airport over the entire period. While the airport has undergone several name changes the Authority and the Police Department have remained under the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Authority title since the Authority took over the operation of the airport.
In 2002 the police department became certified by the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.). All future police officers employed by the airport were required to complete a California recognized police academy, undergo an extensive field training program and maintain continuing education standards established by P.O.S.T.
The department is manned by sworn personnel 24 hours a day and provides service to the approximately four million airport users annually. Officers respond to calls for service that include weapons, narcotics violations, threats of terrorism, disturbance of the peace, theft, traffic collisions, traffic violations and a multitude of other criminal and civil situations.