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Los Angeles World Airports Police (Retired)

Captain LaPonda J. Fitchpatrick (Ret.), SHRM-SCP, ACE, IDI® is the owner and senior consultant for her Aviation Security, Law Enforcement, Human Resources Management and Organizational Development firm. LaPonda is an internationally recognized aviation security and law enforcement expert and trainer with over 36 years of experience. With a people focus, she provides organizations with the essential tools and insights necessary to add value to their workforce. With a diverse consultancy of local, state, federal, and international aviation security, law enforcement and other organizations, both public and private, she develops policies and procedures for safety, security systems, methods and procedures, and emergency management; conducts security risk and threat assessments and develops field, classroom and online training courses.

Understanding the dynamic and diverse venue that a global system such as aviation presents, in 2002, LaPonda created an international aviation law enforcement training program that has been an industry standard for more than 17 years. She has trained well over 2000 police officers, TSA and other aviation security personnel across the country and internationally on their law enforcement and security responsibilities in the unique aviation environment. This included the law enforcement components for Atlanta-Hartsfield, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Reno-Tahoe, and the Massachusetts State Police F-Troop assigned to Boston Logan Airport to name a few. LaPonda has developed and instructed additional training courses including Crisis Management and Communications for airport executives and staff, Active Shooter Response for an international audience, Psychological Preparedness, Diversity and Inclusion, Workplace Violence Prevention for Managers, and many others. She has been featured as an aviation security and law enforcement expert on NBC and ABC affiliates, other news outlets and in newspapers and magazines across the nation and internationally. She also teaches the AAAE ACE-Security and ASC courses.

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 was 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. An avid researcher, LaPonda makes informed recommendations for compliance, implementation, and develops training through comprehensive analysis of local, state, and federal laws, regulations, scholarly works, articles and court decisions. She develops policies, procedures, security technology recommendations, organizational realignment suggestions, individualized coaching programs and other necessary guidelines based on these analyses.

LaPonda obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UCLA with a concentration on globalization and diversity. LaPonda is a certified AAAE ACE-Security and an ASC. LaPonda is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management where she obtained her designation as a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). LaPonda received her Management and Executive Development certificates from the State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). She also has certificates in Risk Assessments, Background Investigations, Tactical Command for SWAT personnel, Managing Within the Law, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Labor/Management Collective Bargaining. She received her West Point Leadership diploma and Instructor Development certification from the Los Angeles Police Department.

As a life-long learner and researcher, she has received certificates in employee coaching and assessments including the PeopleMap6™ Leadership Coach Approach Program, 360° Degree Assessments, and certification in Diversity and Inclusion and Unconscious Bias from Cornell University.  She is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®), the premier cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence that assists organizations and individuals in achieving international and domestic diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and outcomes. She has also been given permission to utilize the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World© (GDIB©) for the conduct of organization assessments as they relate to diversity, equity and inclusion strategies.

LaPonda received the National Black Police Association Outstanding African American Woman in Law Enforcement “Taking Charge of Change” Award in 2011, a California National Guard Commendation for the Post 911 Operation Safe Passage Training and Military Deployment to Airports in 2002, and a Federal Aviation Administration Certificate of Appreciation for Contributions to Aviation Safety and Security also in 2002. An ardent sports enthusiast, LaPonda coached the men’s basketball and co-ed softball teams for the Los Angeles Airport Police for many years and enjoys long-distance cycling and hiking.  LaPonda is married to Bernard Fitchpatrick, a retired Los Angeles Police Department sergeant and they have three daughters, one son-in-law and one granddaughter. She lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

LaPonda instructs the Airport LEO Training Program.