Los Angeles

3.3511066398175 (1988)
Posted by pompos 04/25/2009 @ 14:11

Tags : los angeles, cities and towns, california, states, us

News headlines
Mariners blank the Los Angeles Angels, 1-0 - OregonLive.com
SEATTLE -- The Mariners defeated the Los Angeles Angels 1-0 Wednesday night at Safeco Field and more importantly may have solidified who their closer is. A crowd of 18580 saw Mariners starter Chris Jakubauskas allow just four base runners in six...
NBA Today - SI.com
-Kobe Bryant, Lakers, scored 40 points and made six free throws in the final 30 seconds to lift Los Angeles to a 105-103 win over Denver in Game 1 of the west finals. The Los Angeles Clippers won the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday, giving the franchise...
Natalie Cole receives new kidney - Reuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rhythm and blues singer Natalie Cole, who has been battling Hepatitis C, received a new kidney in Los Angeles and is resting comfortably, her spokeswoman said on Wednesday. Cole, the 59-year-old daughter of R&B legend Nat "King"...
Rapper Dolla shot dead in Los Angeles Mall - Examiner.com
His name was Dolla, and he is no longer with us, thanks to a gunman, who spotted and blasted the poor young protege in a Los Angeles shopping center on Monday. A bullet struck 21-year-old Roderick Anthony Burton II of Atlanta in the head at close range...
WWE trades Denver for Los Angeles - MiamiHerald.com
Ironically, the Staples Center is available because the Los Angeles Lakers will be playing the Denver Nuggets in Denver on Monday which is the root of the problem. Months ago, KSE booked WWE Raw for May 25, but the Nuggets advanced to the Western...
Small aftershock rattles downtown Los Angeles - The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A small but widely felt aftershock jolted the Los Angeles region Tuesday, two days after a magnitude-4.7 earthquake struck. An apartment building in Long Beach was evacuated due to roof damage but there were no reports of serious...
Los Angeles Clippers use Blake Griffin in promotion - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Clippers use Griffin in promotion — The Los Angeles Clippers have begun using photos of Blake Griffin on the team's website to promote season-ticket sales more than a month before they can select him with the top pick in the league's draft....
SoCal gang members indicted in racist shootings - The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — About 150 members and associates of a predominantly Latino street gang have been indicted in the shootings of black victims and other crimes, authorities said Thursday. Federal and local agencies were conducting a series of arrests...
Dodgers Martin gets go-ahead hit to beat Mets 2-1 - The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Russell Martin drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning single and the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the New York Mets with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night. Orlando Hudson singled with one out in the...
Mets SS Reyes comes out of game with injury - USA Today
LOS ANGELES (AP) — New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes left Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the bottom of the third inning after aggravating a troublesome right calf that forced him to miss five games....

Los Angeles

Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California

Los Angeles (pronounced /lɒs ˈændʒələs/ los-AN-jə-ləs; Spanish pronunciation: ) is the largest city in the state of California and the second largest in the United States. Often abbreviated as L.A. and nicknamed The City of Angels, Los Angeles is rated as a "beta+" world city, has an estimated population of 3.8 million and spans over 498.3 square miles (1,290.6 km2) in Southern California. Additionally, the Los Angeles metropolitan area is home to nearly 12.9 million residents, who hail from all over the globe. Los Angeles is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Its inhabitants are known as "Angelenos" or "Angelinos" (/ændʒɨˈliːnoʊz/) when using the proper Spanish language spelling.

Los Angeles was founded September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola). It became a part of Mexico in 1821, following its independence from Spain. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican-American War, Los Angeles and California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States; Mexico retained the territory of Baja California. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.

Los Angeles is one of the world's centers of business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology, and education. It is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields, and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. As the home base of Hollywood, it is known as the "Entertainment Capital of the World," leading the world in the creation of motion pictures, television production and recorded music. The importance of the entertainment business to the city results in many celebrities calling Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs home.

The Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabrieleños) and Chumash Native American tribes thousands of years ago. The first Europeans arrived in 1542 under Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese-born explorer who claimed the area as the City of God for the Spanish Empire. However, he continued with his voyage and did not establish a settlement. The next contact would not come until 227 years later, when Gaspar de Portola, along with Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. Crespí noted that the site had the potential to be developed into a large settlement.

In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra built the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel near Whittier Narrows, in what is now called San Gabriel Valley. In 1777, the new governor of California, Felipe de Neve, recommended to Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, viceroy of New Spain that the site noted by Juan Crespí be developed into a pueblo. The town was officially founded on September 4, 1781, by a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores." Tradition has it that on this day they were escorted by four Spanish colonial soldiers, two priests from the Mission and Governor de Neve. The town was named El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels on the Porciúncula River). These pueblo settlers came from the common Hispanic culture that had emerged in northern Mexico among a racially mixed society. Two-thirds of the settlers were mestizo or mulatto, and therefore, had African and Indian ancestry. More importantly, they were intermarrying. The settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820 the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles.

New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, and the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico. During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico, made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847.

Railroads arrived when the Southern Pacific completed its line to Los Angeles in 1876. Oil was discovered in 1892, and by 1923 Los Angeles was producing one-quarter of the world's petroleum.

By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000 people, putting pressure on the city's water supply. 1913's completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city.

In the 1920s, the motion picture and aviation industries flocked to Los Angeles. In 1932, with population surpassing one million, the city hosted the Summer Olympics.

The post-war years saw an even greater boom, as urban sprawl expanded the city into the San Fernando Valley. In 1969, Los Angeles became one of the birthplaces of the Internet, as the first ARPANET transmission was sent from UCLA to SRI in Menlo Park.

Also in the 1980s, Los Angeles became the center of the heavy metal music scene, especially glam metal bands. In 1984, the city hosted the Summer Olympic Games for the second time. Despite being boycotted by 14 Communist countries, the 1984 Olympics became the most financially successful in history, and only the second Olympics to turn a profit – the other being the 1932 Summer Olympics, also held in Los Angeles.

During the remaining decades of the 20th century, the city was plagued by increasing gang warfare, drug trades, and police corruption. Racial tensions erupted again in 1992 with the Rodney King controversy and the large-scale riots that followed the acquittal of his police attackers. In 1994, the 6.7 Northridge earthquake shook the city, causing $12.5 billion in damage and 72 deaths.

Voters defeated efforts by the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood to secede from the city in 2002.

Gentrification and urban redevelopment have occurred in many parts of the city, most notably Hollywood, Koreatown, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Downtown.

Los Angeles is irregularly shaped and covers a total area of 498.3 square miles (1,291 km2), comprising 469.1 square miles (1,214.9 km2) of land and 29.2 square miles (75.7 km2) of water. The city extends for 44 miles (71 km) longitudinally and for 29 miles (47 km) latitudinally. The perimeter of the city is 342 miles (550 km). It is the only major city in the United States bisected by a mountain range.

The highest point in Los Angeles is Mount Lukens, also called Sister Elsie Peak. Located at the far reaches of the northeastern San Fernando Valley, it reaches a height of 5,080 ft (1,548 m). The major river is the Los Angeles River, which begins in the Canoga Park district of the city and is largely seasonal. The river is lined in concrete for almost its entire length as it flows through the city into nearby Vernon on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

Los Angeles is subject to earthquakes due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire. The geologic instability produces numerous fault lines both above and below ground, which altogether cause approximately 10,000 earthquakes every year. One of the major fault lines is the San Andreas Fault. Located at the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, it is predicted to be the source of Southern California's next big earthquake. Major earthquakes to have hit the Los Angeles area include the 2008 Chino Hills earthquake, 1994 Northridge earthquake, the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, the 1971 San Fernando earthquake near Sylmar, and the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Nevertheless, all but a few quakes are of low intensity and are not felt. The most recent earthquake felt was the 5.4 Chino Hills earthquake on July 29 2008. Parts of the city are also vulnerable to Pacific Ocean tsunamis; harbor areas were damaged by waves from the Valdivia earthquake in 1960. The Los Angeles basin and metropolitan area are also at risk from blind thrust earthquakes.

Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate or Dry-Summer Subtropical (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csa inland). Los Angeles enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of 263 sunshine days and only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.

The period of May through October is warm to hot and dry with average high temperatures of 74 - 84°F (24 - 29°C) and lows of 58 - 66°F (14 - 19°C), however temperatures frequently exceed 90°F (32°C) and occasionally reach 100°F (38°C) in inland areas (away from the moderating effect of the ocean).

The period of November through April is mild and somewhat rainy with average high temperatures of 68 - 73°F (20 - 23°C) and lows of 48 - 53°F (9 - 12°C), but temperatures could occasionally drop to low 40s (~5°C) or be as high as 80°F (26°C) for few days during winter.

The Los Angeles area is also subject to the phenomenon typical of a microclimate. As such, the temperatures can vary as much as 18°F (10°C) between inland areas and the coast, with a temperature gradient of over one degree per mile (1.6 km) from the coast inland. California has also a weather phenomenon called "June Gloom or May Grey", which sometimes gives overcast or foggy skies in the morning at the coast, but usually gives sunny skies by noon, during late spring and early summer.

Los Angeles averages 15 inches (385 mm) of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November thru April) with generally light rain showers, but sometimes as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. The coast gets slightly lower rainfall, while the mountains gets slightly higher rainfall. Snowfall is extremely rare in the city basin, but the mountains within city limits slopes typically receive snowfall every winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in downtown Los Angeles was 2 inches (5 cm) in 1932.

The Los Angeles area is rich in native plant species due in part to a diversity in habitats, including beaches, wetlands, and mountains. The most prevalent botanical environment is coastal sage scrub, which covers the hillsides in combustible chaparral. Native plants include: California poppy, matilija poppy, toyon, Coast Live Oak, and giant wild rye grass. Many of these native species, such as the Los Angeles sunflower, have become so rare as to be considered endangered. Though they are not native to the area, the official tree of Los Angeles is the tropical Coral Tree and the official flower of Los Angeles is the Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia reginae.

The name given by the Chumash tribe of Native Americans for the area now known as Los Angeles translates to "the valley of smoke." because of the smog from native campfires. Owing to geography, heavy reliance on automobiles, and the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex, Los Angeles suffers from air pollution in the form of smog. The Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando Valley are susceptible to atmospheric inversion, which holds in the exhausts from road vehicles, airplanes, locomotives, shipping, manufacturing, and other sources. Unlike other large cities that rely on rain to clear smog, Los Angeles gets only 15 inches (381 mm) of rain each year: pollution accumulates over many consecutive days. Issues of air quality in Los Angeles and other major cities led to the passage of early national environmental legislation, including the Clean Air Act. More recently, the state of California has led the nation in working to limit pollution by mandating low emission vehicles.

As a result, pollution levels have dropped in recent decades. The number of Stage 1 smog alerts has declined from over 100 per year in the 1970s to almost zero in the new millennium. Despite improvement, the 2006 and 2007 annual reports of the American Lung Association ranked the city as the most polluted in the country with short-term particle pollution and year-round particle pollution. In 2008, the city was ranked the second most polluted and again had the highest year-round particulate pollution. In addition, the groundwater is increasingly threatened by MTBE from gas stations and perchlorate from rocket fuel. With pollution still a significant problem, the city continues to take aggressive steps to improve air and water conditions.

The city is divided into many neighborhoods, many of which were incorporated places or communities that were annexed by the city. There are also several independent cities around Los Angeles, but they are popularly grouped with the city of Los Angeles, either due to being completely engulfed as enclaves by Los Angeles, or lying within its immediate vicinity. Generally, the city is divided into the following areas: Downtown Los Angeles, Northeast - including Highland Park and Eagle Rock areas, the Eastside, South Los Angeles (still often colloquially referred to as South Central by locals), the Harbor Area, Hollywood, Wilshire, the Westside and the San Fernando and Crescenta Valleys.

Some well-known communities within Los Angeles include West Adams, Watts, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Venice Beach, the Downtown Financial District, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Hollywood, Koreatown, Westwood and the more affluent areas of Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Hollywood Hills, Hancock Park, Pacific Palisades, Century City, and Brentwood.

Important landmarks in Los Angeles include Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Kodak Theatre, Griffith Observatory, Getty Center, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Boulevard, Capitol Records Tower, Los Angeles City Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Watts Towers, Staples Center, Dodger Stadium and La Placita Olvera/Olvera Street.

At the 2005-2007 American Community Survey Estimates the city's population was 51.0% White (29.3% non-Hispanic White alone), 10.6% Black or African American, 1.0% American Indian and Alaska Native, 11.4% Asian, 0.3% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 28.6% from some other race and 2.8% from two or more races. 48.5% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The 2000 census recorded 3,694,820 people, 1,275,412 households, and 798,407 families residing in the city, with a population density of 7,876.8 people per square mile (3,041.3/km2). There were 1,337,706 housing units at an average density of 2,851.8 per square mile (1,101.1/km2). Los Angeles has become a multiethnic/diverse city, with major new groups of Latino and Asian immigrants in recent decades. As of the 2000 US Census, the racial distribution in Los Angeles was 46.9% White American, 11.2% African American, 10.5% Asian American, 0.8% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 25.7% from other races, and 5.2% from two or more races. 46.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

42.2% spoke English, 41.7% Spanish, 2.4% Korean, 2.3% Filipino, 1.7% Armenian, 1.5% Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin) and 1.3% Persian as their first language.

According to the census, 33.5% of households had children under 18, 41.9% were married couples, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 28.5% of households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size 3.56.

The age distribution was: 26.6% under 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 34.1% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32. For every 100 females there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.

The median income for a household was $36,687, and for a family was $39,942. Males had a median income of $31,880, females $30,197. The per capita income was $20,671. 22.1% of the population and 18.3% of families were below the poverty line. 30.3% of those under the age of 18 and 12.6% of those aged 65 or older were below the poverty line.

Los Angeles is home to people from more than 140 countries speaking 224 different identified languages. Ethnic enclaves like Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, Koreatown, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Tehrangeles, Little Tokyo, and Thai Town provide examples of the polyglot character of Los Angeles.

The economy of Los Angeles is driven by international trade, entertainment (television, motion pictures, interactive games, recorded music), aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion, apparel, and tourism. Los Angeles is also the largest manufacturing center in the western United States. The contiguous ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach together comprise the fifth busiest port in the world and the most significant port in the Western Hemisphere and is vital to trade within the Pacific Rim. Other significant industries include media production, finance, telecommunications, law, healthcare, and transportation. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $697.9 billion (as of 2007), making it the second largest economic center in the Western Hemisphere, after New York City. If the Los Angeles CSA were a country, its economy would rank 17th in the world in terms of nominal GDP.

Until the mid-1990s, Los Angeles was home to many major financial institutions in the western United States. Mergers meant reporting to headquarters in other cities. For instance, First Interstate Bancorp merged with Wells Fargo in 1996, Great Western Bank merged with Washington Mutual in 1998, and Security Pacific Bank merged with Bank of America in 1992. Los Angeles was also home to the Pacific Exchange, until it closed in 2001.

The city has six major Fortune 500 companies, including aerospace contractor Northrop Grumman, energy company Occidental Petroleum, healthcare provider Health Net, homebuilder KB Home, and real estate group CB Richard Ellis.

Other companies headquartered in Los Angeles include 20th Century Fox, Latham & Watkins, Univision, Metro Interactive, LLC, Premier America, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, DeviantArt, Guess?, O’Melveny & Myers; Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, Tokyopop, The Jim Henson Company, Paramount Pictures, Robinsons-May, Sunkist Growers, Incorporated, Fox Sports Net, Capital Group, 21st century Insurance and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Korean Air's US passenger and cargo operations headquarters are located in two separate offices in Los Angeles.

The metropolitan area contains the headquarters of companies who moved outside of the city to escape its taxes but keep the benefits of proximity. For example, Los Angeles charges a gross receipts tax based on a percentage of business revenue, while many neighboring cities charge only small flat fees. The companies below benefit from their proximity to Los Angeles, while at the same time avoiding the city's taxes (and other problems). Some of the major companies headquartered in the cities of Los Angeles county are Shakey's Pizza (Alhambra), Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Beverly Hills), City National Bank (Beverly Hills), Hilton Hotels (Beverly Hills), DIC Entertainment (Burbank), The Walt Disney Company (Fortune 500 – Burbank), Warner Bros. (Burbank), Countrywide Financial (Fortune 500 – Calabasas), THQ (Calabasas), Belkin (Compton), Sony Pictures Entertainment (parent of Columbia Pictures, located in Culver City), DirecTV (El Segundo), Mattel (Fortune 500 – El Segundo), Unocal Corporation (Fortune 500 – El Segundo), DreamWorks (Glendale), Sea Launch (Long Beach), ICANN (Marina del Rey), Cunard Line (Santa Clarita), Princess Cruises (Santa Clarita), Activision (Santa Monica), and RAND (Santa Monica).

The University of Southern California (USC) is the city's largest private sector employer and contributes $4 billion annually to the local economy.

The people of Los Angeles are known as Angelenos. Nighttime hot spots include places such as Downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake, Hollywood, and West Hollywood, which is the home of the world-famous Sunset Strip.

Some well-known shopping areas are the Hollywood and Highland complex, the Beverly Center, Melrose Avenue, Robertson Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, The Grove, Westside Pavilion, Westfield Century City, The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center and Venice Boardwalk.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles leads the largest archdiocese in the country. Cardinal Roger Mahony oversaw construction of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, completed in 2002 at the north end of downtown. Construction of the cathedral marked a coming of age of the Catholic, heavily Latino community. There are numerous Catholic churches and parishes throughout the city.

The Los Angeles California Temple, the second largest temple operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is on Santa Monica Boulevard in the Westwood district of Los Angeles. Dedicated in 1956, it was the first Mormon temple built in California and it was the largest in the world when completed. The grounds includes a visitors' center open to the public, the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center, also open to the public, and the headquarters for the Los Angeles mission.

With 621,000 Jews in the metropolitan area (490,000 in city proper), the region has second largest population of Jews in the United States. Many synagogues of the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist movements can be found throughout the city. Most are located in the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles. The area in West Los Angeles around Fairfax and Pico Boulevards contains a large number of Orthodox Jews. The Breed Street Shul in East Los Angeles, built in 1923, was the largest synagogue west of Chicago in its early decades. (It is no longer a sacred space and is being converted to a museum and community center.) The Kabbalah Centre, devoted to one line of Jewish mysticism, is also in the city.

Because of Los Angeles' large multi-ethnic population, a wide variety of faiths are practiced, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Bahá'í, various Eastern Orthodox Churches, Sufism and others. Immigrants from Asia for example, have formed a number of significant Buddhist congregations making the city home to the greatest variety of Buddhists in the world.

The major daily newspaper in the area is the Los Angeles Times; La Opinión is the city's major Spanish-language paper. Investor's Business Daily is distributed from its L.A. corporate offices, which are headquartered in Playa Del Rey. There are also a number of smaller regional newspapers, alternative weeklies and magazines, including the Daily News (which focuses coverage on the San Fernando Valley), LA Weekly, Los Angeles CityBeat, L.A. Record (which focuses coverage on the music scene in the Greater Los Angeles area), Los Angeles magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Daily Journal (legal industry paper), The Hollywood Reporter and Variety (entertainment industry papers), and Los Angeles Downtown News. In addition to the English- and Spanish-language papers, numerous local periodicals serve immigrant communities in their native languages, including Armenian, Korean, Persian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. Many cities adjacent to Los Angeles also have their own daily newspapers whose coverage and availability overlaps into certain Los Angeles neighborhoods. Examples include The Daily Breeze (serving the South Bay), and The Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Los Angeles and New York City are the only two media markets to have all seven VHF allocations possible assigned to them.

The city's first television station (and the first in California) was KTLA, which began broadcasting on January 22, 1947. The major network-affiliated television stations in this city are KABC-TV 7 (ABC), KCBS 2 (CBS), KNBC 4 (NBC), KTTV 11 (FOX), KTLA 5 (The CW), and KCOP-TV 13 (MyNetworkTV), and KPXN 30 (i). There are also three PBS stations in the area, including KCET 28, KOCE-TV 50, and KLCS 58. World TV operates on two channels, KNET-LP 25 and KSFV-LP 6. There are also several Spanish-language television networks, including KMEX-TV 34 (Univision), KFTR 46 (TeleFutura), KVEA 52 (Telemundo), and KAZA 54 (Azteca América). KTBN 40 (Trinity Broadcasting Network), is a religious station in the area.

Several independent television stations also operate in the area, including KCAL-TV 9 (owned by CBS Corporation), KSCI 18 (focuses primarily on Asian language programming), KWHY-TV 22 (Spanish-language), KNLA-LP 27 (Spanish-language), KSMV-LP 33 (variety)—a low power relay of Ventura-based KJLA 57—KPAL-LP 38, KXLA 44, KDOC-TV 56 (classic programming and local sports), KJLA 57 (variety), and KRCA 62 (Spanish-language).

Los Angeles is the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles D-Fenders an Nba Development team owned by the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, the Los Angeles Riptide of Major League Lacrosse, and the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League. Los Angeles is also home to the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins in the NCAA, both of which are Division I teams in the Pacific-10 Conference. Several more teams are in the greater Los Angeles media market: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Major League Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League are both based in nearby Anaheim; and the Los Angeles Galaxy and Club Deportivo Chivas USA of Major League Soccer are both based in neighboring Carson. The city is the largest in the U.S. without an NFL team.

There was a time when Los Angeles boasted two NFL teams, the Rams and the Raiders. Both left the city in 1995, with the Rams moving to St. Louis and the Raiders heading back to Oakland. Los Angeles is the second-largest city and television market in the United States, but has no NFL team (see List of television stations in North America by media market). Prior to 1995, the Rams called Memorial Coliseum (1946-1979) and Anaheim Stadium (1980-1994) home; and the Raiders played their home games at Memorial Coliseum from 1982 to 1994.

Since the franchise's departures the NFL as an organization, and individual NFL owners, have attempted to relocate a team to the city. Immediately following the 1995 NFL season, Seattle Seahawks owner Ken Behring went as far as packing up moving vans to start play in the Rose Bowl under a new team name and logo for the 1996 season. The State of Washington filed a law suit to successfully prevent the move. In 2003, then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue indicated L.A. would get a new expansion team, a thirty-third franchise, after the choice of Houston over L.A. in the 2002 league expansion round. When the New Orleans Saints were displaced from the Superdome by Hurricane Katrina media outlets reported the NFL was planning to move the team to Los Angeles permanently. Despite these efforts, and the failure to build a new stadium for an NFL team, L.A. is still expected to return to the league through expansion or relocation.

Los Angeles has twice played host to the summer Olympic Games, in 1932 and in 1984. When the tenth Olympic Games were hosted in 1932, the former 10th Street was renamed Olympic Blvd. Super Bowls I and VII were also held in the city as well as soccer's international World Cup in 1994.

Los Angeles also boasts a number of sports venues, including Staples Center, a sports and entertainment complex that also hosts concerts and awards shows such as the Grammys. Staples Center also serves as the home arena for the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL and the Avengers of the AFL.

The city is governed by a mayor-council system. The current mayor is Antonio Villaraigosa. There are 15 city council districts. Other elected city officials include the City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and the City Controller Laura N. Chick. The city attorney prosecutes misdemeanors within the city limits. The district attorney, elected by county voters, prosecutes misdemeanors in unincorporated areas and in 78 of the 88 cities in the county, as well as felonies throughout the county.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) polices the city of Los Angeles, but the city also maintains four specialized police agencies; The Office of Public Safety, within the General Services Department (which is responsible for security and law enforcement services at city facilities, including City Hall, city parks and libraries, the Los Angeles Zoo, and the Convention Center), the Port Police, within the Harbor Department (which is responsible for land, air and sea law enforcement services at the Port of Los Angeles), the Los Angeles City Schools Police department which handles law enforcement for all city schools, and the Airport Police, within the Los Angeles World Airports Department (which is responsible for law enforcement services at all four city-owned airports, including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT), LA/Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD), and Van Nuys Airport (VNY).

Voters created Neighborhood Councils in the Charter Reform of 1999. First proposed by City Council member Joel Wachs in 1996, they were designed to promote public participation in government and make it more responsive to local needs.

The councils cover districts which are not necessarily identical to the traditional neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Almost ninety neighborhood councils (NCs) are certified and all "stakeholders" — meaning anyone who lives, works or owns property in a neighborhood — may vote for members of the councils' governing bodies. Some council bylaws allow other people with a stake in the community to cast ballots as well.

The councils are official government bodies and so their governing bodies and committees must abide by California's Brown Act, which governs the meetings of deliberative assemblies.

The first notable concern of the neighborhood councils collectively was the opposition by some of them in March 2004 to an 18% increase in water rates by the city's Department of Water and Power. This led the City Council to approve only a limited increase pending independent review. More recently, some of the councils petitioned the City Council in summer 2006 to allow them to introduce ideas for legislative action, but the City Council put off a decision.

The neighborhood councils have been allocated $50,000 each for administration, outreach and approved neighborhood projects.

Los Angeles has been experiencing significant decline in crime since the mid-1990s, and hit a record low in 2007, with 392 homicides. Antonio Villaraigosa is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition.

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Los Angeles. The main Los Angeles Post Office is located at 7001 South Central Avenue.

There are three public universities located within the city limits: California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Private colleges in the city include the American Film Institute Conservatory, Alliant International University, American InterContinental University, American Jewish University, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy - Los Angeles campus, Antioch University's Los Angeles campus, Art Center College of Design (Art Center), Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising's Los Angeles campus (FIDM), Los Angeles Film School, Loyola Marymount University (LMU is also the parent university of Loyola Law School located in Los Angeles), Mount St. Mary's College, National University of California, New York Film Academy in Universal City, CA, Occidental College ("Oxy"), Otis College of Art and Design (Otis), Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Southwestern Law School, and University of Southern California (USC).

The community college system consists of nine campuses governed by the trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District: East Los Angeles College (ELAC), Los Angeles City College (LACC), Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles Mission College, Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC), Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and West Los Angeles College.

Los Angeles Unified School District serves almost all of the city of Los Angeles, as well as several surrounding communities, with a student population over 800,000. After Proposition 13 was approved in 1978, urban school districts had considerable trouble with funding. LAUSD has become known for its underfunded, overcrowded and poorly maintained campuses, although its 162 Magnet schools help compete with local private schools. Several small sections of Los Angeles are in the Las Virgenes Unified School District. Los Angeles County Office of Education operates the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. The Los Angeles Public Library system operates 72 public libraries in the city.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other agencies operate an extensive system of bus lines, as well as subway and light rail lines across Los Angeles County, with a combined daily ridership of 1.7 million. The majority of this (1.4 million) is taken up by the city's bus system, the second busiest in the country. The subway and light rail combined average the remaining roughly 319,000 boardings per weekday. Altogether, public transit ridership is much lower than many other large cities, with 12% of Los Angeles commuters riding public transportation.

The city's subway system is the ninth busiest in the United States and its light rail system is the country's third busiest.

The rail system includes the Red and Purple subway lines, as well as the Gold, Blue, and Green light rail lines. The Metro Rapid buses are a bus rapid transit program with stops and frequency similar those of a light rail. The city is also central to the commuter rail system Metrolink which links Los Angeles to all neighboring counties as well as many suburbs.

The main Los Angeles airport is Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX). The fifth busiest commercial airport in the world and the third busiest in the United States, LAX handled over 61 million passengers and 2 million tons of cargo in 2006.

The world's third busiest general-aviation airport is also located in Los Angeles, Van Nuys Airport (IATA: VNY, ICAO: KVNY).

The Port of Los Angeles is located in San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro neighborhood, approximately 20 miles (30 km) south of Downtown. Also called Los Angeles Harbor and WORLDPORT LA, the port complex occupies 7,500 acres (30 km2) of land and water along 43 miles (69 km) of waterfront. It adjoins the separate Port of Long Beach.

The sea ports of the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach together make up the Los Angeles – Long Beach Harbor. There are also smaller, non-industrial harbors along L.A.'s coastline. Safety is provided at the only beach controlled by Los Angeles City by the highly trained Los Angeles City Lifeguards.

The port includes four bridges: the Vincent Thomas Bridge, Henry Ford Bridge, Gerald Desmond Bridge, and Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge.

In 2007, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also recognized a cultural exchange partnership with Tel Aviv, Israel.

To the top



Los Angeles County, California

Seal of Los Angeles County, California

Los Angeles County is a county in California, and is by far the most populous county in the United States. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau give an estimated 2007 population of 9,878,554 residents, while the California State government's population bureau lists a January 1, 2008, estimate of 10,363,850. The county seat is the City of Los Angeles.

The county is home to 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas. The northern half of the county is a large expanse of lesser populated desert inland in the Santa Clarita Valley, and especially in the Antelope Valley which encompasses the northeastern parts of the county and adjacent eastern Kern County, lying just north of Los Angeles County. In between the large desert portions of the county ― which make up around 40 percent of its land area ― and the urbanized central and southern portions sits the San Gabriel Mountains containing Angeles National Forest. All of southern Los Angeles County, north to about the center of the county, is heavily urbanized.

This county holds most of the principal cities encompassing the Greater Los Angeles Area, and is the most important of the five counties that make up the area. As of 2004, the county's population is larger than the individual populations of 42 states considered separately (and on that basis is more populous than the aggregate of the 11 least populous states) and is home to over a quarter of all California residents. According to the United States Conference of Mayors, if Los Angeles County were a nation, it would boast a GDP among the twenty largest countries in the world. Los Angeles County is similar in land area to the state of Connecticut and in population to the state of Michigan.

Los Angeles County was one of the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood in 1850. Parts of the county's territory were given to San Bernardino County in 1853, to Kern County in 1866 and to Orange County in 1889.

The county was targeted with the threat of legal action by the ACLU in 2004 regarding a small cross on its seal. The ACLU claimed that separation of church and state prohibited this display.

Most of the County's history is recounted in the other articles covering its constituent cities and their neighborhoods.

With 4,061 square miles (10,517 km²), Los Angeles County borders 70 miles (110 km) of coast on the Pacific Ocean and encompasses numerous other natural landscapes including towering mountain ranges, deep valleys, forests, islands, lakes, rivers, and desert. More specifically, the county contains the following rivers: Los Angeles River, Rio Hondo, the San Gabriel River and the Santa Clara River. The primary mountain ranges are the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. It also includes the westernmost part of the Mojave Desert, and San Clemente Island and Santa Catalina Island in the Pacific Ocean.

Most of the population of Los Angeles County is located in the south and southwest. The major population centers are the Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. Moderate populations are in the Santa Clarita, Crescenta and Antelope Valleys. The area north of the Santa Clarita Valley (Northwest Los Angeles County, adjacent to Ventura and Kern counties) is mostly mountainous, rugged, well-timbered and filled with coniferous forests that receives plentiful snow in the winter, right to the point of blizzard conditions. This area is less populated. Mountains in this area include San Emigdio Mountains, the southernmost part of Tehachapi Mountains, and the Sierra Pelona Mountains.

Most of the highest peaks in the county are located in the San Gabriel Mountains, which are part of the Transverse Ranges. They include Mount San Antonio (10,064 ft) at the Los Angeles-San Bernardino county lines, Mount Baden-Powell (9,399 ft), Mount Burnham (8,997 ft), and the well-known Mount Wilson (5,710 ft) where the Mount Wilson Observatory is located. Several smaller, lower peaks are located in the northern, western, and southwestern Los Angeles County.

The county has a total area of 4,752 square miles (12,308 km²), of which, 4,061 square miles (10,518 km²) of it is land and 691 square miles (1,791 km²) of it (14.55%) is water.

Despite the large number of incorporated cities, most of the area of the county is unincorporated, and falls directly under the county government's jurisdiction. Many, but not all of them, are Census-designated places. With no city government, residents of these areas must petition the appropriate member of the Board of Supervisors when they have a grievance about the quality of local services.

The county has an extensive freeway network of legendary size and complexity, which is maintained by Caltrans and patrolled by the California Highway Patrol. It also has a vast urban and suburban street network, most of which is maintained by city governments. The county and most cities generally do a decent job of maintaining and cleaning streets. For more information about the primary exception, see the Transportation in Los Angeles article.

Both the freeways and streets are notorious for severe traffic congestion, and the area's freeway-to-freeway interchanges regularly rank among the top 10 most congested points in the country.

In addition to Metro Bus service, numerous cities within the county also operate their own bus companies and shuttle lines.

The county's primary commercial aviation airport is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles. Other important airports include the Long Beach Municipal Airport in Long Beach and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Palmdale Regional Airport is planned for expanded commercial service. There are also general aviation airports in Los Angeles, including airports in Van Nuys and Pacoima. Other general aviation airports exist in Santa Monica, Compton, Torrance, El Monte, Lancaster, and Hawthorne.

Los Angeles is a major freight railroad transportation center, largely due to the large volumes of freight moving in and out of the county's port facilities. The ports are connected to the downtown rail yards and to the main lines of Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe headed east via a grade-separated, freight rail corridor known as the Alameda Corridor.

Passenger rail service is provided in the county by Amtrak, Los Angeles Metro Rail and Metrolink.

Amtrak has the following intercity Amtrak service at Union Station in the city of Los Angeles.

Union Station is also the primary hub for Metrolink commuter rail, which serves much of the Greater Los Angeles Area.

Light rail, subway (heavy rail), and long-distance bus service are all provided by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

The county's two main seaports are the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. Together they handle over a quarter of all container traffic entering the United States, making the complex the largest and most important port in the country, and the third-largest port in the world by shipping volume.

The Port of Los Angeles is the largest cruise ship center on the west coast, handling over 1 million passengers annually.

The Port of Long Beach is home to the Sea Launch program, which uses a floating launch platform to insert payloads into orbits that would be difficult to attain from existing land-based launch sites.

Ferries link Avalon to the mainland.

The major industries of Los Angeles County are international trade, supported by the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, motion picture and television program production, music recording and production, aerospace, and professional services such as law and medicine.

Although the City of Los Angeles is commonly associated with the entertainment industry, most of the major studios, except Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and MGM, are now located outside of its boundaries (in neighboring Culver City, Burbank and Glendale). The remaining studios within the city limits are located in Hollywood (Paramount Pictures) and Century City (20th Century Fox and MGM), both districts of the City of Los Angeles..

For major companies headquartered in the City of Los Angeles, and adjacent cities, see the Economy section of the Los Angeles, California article.

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,519,338 people, 3,133,774 households, and 2,137,233 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,344 people per square mile (905/km²). There were 3,270,909 housing units at an average density of 806 per square mile (311/km²). The racial makeup of the county is 48.71% White 11.0% African American, 0.81% Native American, 10.0% Asian, 0.28% Pacific Islander, 23.53% from other races, and 4.94% from two or more races. 44.56% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The largest ancestry groups are German (6%), Irish (5%), English (4%) and Italian (3%). 45.87% of the population reported speaking English at home; 37.89% speak Spanish, 2.22% Tagalog, 1.98% Chinese, 1.87% Korean, and 1.57% Armenian.

There were 3,133,774 households out of which 36.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.6% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98 and the average family size was 3.61.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,189, and the median income for a family was $46,452. Males had a median income of $36,299 versus $30,981 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,683. There are 14.4% of families living below the poverty line and 17.9% of the population, including 24.2% of under 18 and 10.5% of those over 64.

The homeownership rate is 47.9%, and the median value for houses is $209,300. 42.2% of housing units are in multi-unit structures.

The county's voters elect a governing five-member Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The small size of the board means each supervisor represents over 2 million people. The board operates in a legislative, executive, and quasi-judicial capacity. As a legislative authority, it can pass ordinances for the unincorporated areas (ordinances that affect the whole county, like posting of restaurant ratings, must be ratified by the individual city). As an executive body, it can tell the county departments what to do, and how to do it. As a quasi-judicial body, the Board is the final venue of appeal in the local planning process, and holds public hearings on various agenda items.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, despite its name, is not a County department. Technically it is a state-mandated county transportation commission that also operates bus and rail.

The Los Angeles Superior Court, which covers the entire county, is not a County department but a division of the State's trial court system. The courthouses, however, are county-owned buildings that are maintained at county expense.

Los Angeles County has voted for the Democratic candidate in most of the presidential elections in the past four decades. In 2008 approximately 70% of the electorate voted for Democrat Barack Obama.

In the United States House of Representatives, all of districts 27-39 are entirely within the county and are all represented by Democrats. In order of district number they are Brad Sherman, Howard Berman, Adam Schiff, Henry Waxman, Xavier Becerra, Hilda Solis, Diane Watson, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Maxine Waters, Jane Harman, Laura Richardson, Grace Napolitano, and Linda Sánchez. Parts of the county are also in the 22nd, 25th, 26th, 42nd, and 46th districts, which are all represented by Republicans: Kevin McCarthy, Buck McKeon, David Dreier, Gary Miller, and Dana Rohrabacher respectively.

In the State Senate, all of districts 20-22 and 24-28, and 30 are entirely within the county and are all represented by Democrats. In order of district number they are Alex Padilla, Jack Scott, Gilbert Cedillo, Gloria Romero, Edward Vincent, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Alan Lowenthal, Jenny Oropeza, and Ron Calderon. Most of the 17th, 23rd, and 29th districts are in the county. The 17th and 29th districts are represented by Republicans George Runner and Bob Margett, respectively while the 23rd district is represented by Democrat Sheila Kuehl. Parts of the 19th and 32nd districts are also in the county. The 19th district is represented by Republican Tony Strickland while the 32nd is represented by Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod.

In the State Assembly, all of districts 39, 40, 42-55, 57, and 58 are entirely within the county and are all represented by Democrats. In order of district number they are Richard Alarcon, Lloyd Levine, Mike Feuer, Paul Krekorian, Anthony Portantino, Kevin DeLeon, Fabian Núñez, Karen Bass, Mike Davis, Mike Eng, Hector De La Torre, Curren D. Price, Mervyn M. Dymally, Ted Lieu, Betty Karnette, (the 55th district is vacant; it was previously held by Laura Richardson, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2007), Ed Hernandez, and Charles Calderon. Most of districts 38, 41, and 56 are in the county. The 38th is held by Republican Cameron Smyth; the 41st and 56th are held by Democrats Julia Brownley and Tony Mendoza. Parts of districts 36, 37, 59, 60, and 61 are also in the county. The 36th, 37th, 59th, and 60th districts are represented by Republicans: Sharon Runner, Audra Strickland, Anthony Adams, and Robert Huff. The 61st is represented by Democrat Nell Soto.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court has jurisdiction over all cases arising under state law, while the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California hears all federal cases. Both are headquartered in a large cluster of government buildings in the city's Civic Center.

Unlike the largest city in the United States, New York City, all of the city of Los Angeles and most of its important suburbs are located within a single county. As a result, both the county superior court and the federal district court are respectively the busiest courts of their type in the nation.

Many celebrities like O.J. Simpson have been seen in Los Angeles courts. In 2003, the tabloid television show Extra (based in nearby Glendale) found itself running so many reports on the legal problems of local celebrities that it spun them off into a separate show, Celebrity Justice.

State cases are appealed to the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, which is also headquartered in the Civic Center, and then to the California Supreme Court, which is headquartered in San Francisco but also hears argument in Los Angeles (again, in the Civic Center). Federal cases are appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which hears them at its branch building in Pasadena. The court of last resort for federal cases is the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

The Los Angeles County Office of Education provides a supporting role for school districts in the area. The county office also operates two magnet schools, the International Polytechnic High School and Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.

Other than Christian churches, there are also 48 mosques, 202 Jewish synagogues, 14 Sikh gurdwaras, 145 Buddhist temples, 44 Bahai worship centers, 37 Hindu temples, 16 Shinto worship centers, and 28 Tenrikyo churches and fellowships in the county.

The county's most visited park is Griffith Park, owned by the City of Los Angeles. The county is also known for the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, the annual Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Natural History Museum, the La Brea Tar Pits, the Arboretum of Los Angeles, and two horse racetracks and two car racetracks (Pomona Raceway and Irwindale Speedway), also the RMS Queen Mary located in Long Beach, and the Long Beach Grand Prix, and miles of beaches--from Zuma to Cabrillo.

Venice Beach is a popular attraction where its Muscle Beach used to find throngs of tourists admiring "hardbodies". Today it is more arts-centered. Santa Monica's pier is a well known tourist spot, famous for its ferris wheel and bumper car rides, which were featured in the introductory segment of the television sitcom Three's Company. Further north in Pacific Palisades one finds the beaches used in the television series Baywatch. The fabled Malibu, home of many a film or television star, lies west of it.

In the mountain, canyon, and desert areas one may find Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, where many old westerns were filmed. Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains is open for the public to view astronomical stars from its telescope, now computer-assisted. Many county residents find relaxation in water skiing and swimming at Castaic Lake Recreation Area - the county's largest park by area - as well as enjoying natural surroundings and starry nights at Saddleback Butte State Park in the eastern Antelope Valley - California State Parks' largest in area within the county. The California Poppy Reserve is located in the western Antelope Valley and shows off the State's flower in great quantity on its rolling hills every spring.

To the top



Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles International Airport with Marina Del Rey in the foreground and Palos Verdes Peninsula in the background.

Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX, FAA LID: LAX) is the primary airport serving Los Angeles, California, the second-most populated metropolitan area of the United States. It is often referred to by its airport code LAX, with the letters usually pronounced individually (IPA: /ɛl.eɪ.ɛks/). LAX is located in southwestern Los Angeles in the neighborhood of Westchester, 16 mi (26 km) from the downtown core.

With 59,542,151 passengers in 2008, LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world and is served by direct flights to North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East. The airport is a major hub for both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, a focus city for American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and from May 1 Allegiant Air as well, and an international gateway for Delta Air Lines.

The airport also functions as joint civil-military facility, providing a base for the United States Coast Guard and its Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles facility, operating 3 HH-65 Dolphin helicopters.

LAX is the busiest airport in California in terms of flight operations, passenger traffic and air cargo activity, followed by San Francisco International Airport (SFO). LAX is also the only U.S. airport to serve 3 or more international destinations with ridership of 1 million passengers or more per year (Tokyo-Narita, London-Heathrow, Taipei).

Although LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the region relies on a multiple airport system because of its vast size. Many of the area's most well-known attractions are closer to alternative airports than to LAX; for example, Hollywood and Griffith Park are closer to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank; while John Wayne Airport in Orange County is close to Disneyland, the Honda Center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, and other Orange County attractions. Long Beach Airport is close to some of the coastal attractions known to Southern California, like Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach. LA/Ontario International Airport is closer to the Inland Empire region's cities of Riverside, and San Bernardino of Southern California.

The airport occupies some 3,500 acres (5 sq mi; 14 km2) of the city on the Pacific coast, about 15 mi (24 km) southwest of downtown Los Angeles. LAX is one of the most famous locations for commercial aircraft spotting, most notably at the so called "Imperial Hill" area (also known as Clutter's Park) in El Segundo from which nearly the entire South Complex of the airport can be viewed. Another famous spotting location sits right under the final approach for runways 24 L&R on a small grass lawn next to the Westchester In-N-Out Burger restaurant, and is noted as one of the few remaining locations in Southern California from which spotters may watch such a wide variety of low-flying commercial airliners from directly underneath. The airport's coastal location exposes it to fog, during which flights are occasionally diverted to LA/Ontario International Airport in Ontario, San Bernardino County 47 mi (76 km) to the east.

In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres (1.00 sq mi; 2.6 km2) in the southern part of Westchester as the site of a new airport for the city. The fields of wheat, barley and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any terminal buildings. It was named Mines Field for William W. Mines, the real estate agent who arranged the deal. The first structure, Hangar No. 1, was erected in 1929 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mines Field was dedicated and opened as the official airport of Los Angeles in 1930, and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937. The name was officially changed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941, and to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 1949. Prior to that time, the main airport for Los Angeles was the Grand Central Airport in Glendale.

Until this time, the entire airport was located east of Sepulveda Boulevard. As the airport expanded westward to meet the Pacific Ocean, a tunnel was completed in 1953 so that Sepulveda Boulevard would pass underneath the airport's runways. It was the first tunnel of its kind.

In 1958 the architecture firm Pereira & Luckman was contracted to design a master plan for the complete re-design of the airport in anticipation of the "jet age". The plan, developed along with architects Welton Becket and Paul Williams, called for a massive series of terminals and parking structures to be built in the central portion of the property, with these buildings connected at the center by a huge steel-and-glass dome. The plan was never fully realized, and shortly thereafter the Theme Building was constructed on the site originally intended for the dome.

The distinctive white "Theme Building", designed by Pereira & Luckman architect Paul Williams and constructed in 1961, resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. A restaurant that provides a sweeping view of the airport is suspended beneath two intersecting arches that form the legs. The Los Angeles City Council designated the building a cultural and historical monument in 1992. A $4 million renovation, with retro-futuristic interior and electric lighting designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, was completed before the "Encounter Restaurant" opened there in 1997. At one time, tourists and passengers were able to take the elevator up to the roof of the "Theme Building", but after the September 11 attacks, the rooftop was closed off to everyone for security reasons. It was once said the rooftop would reopen for public use, but that was determined to be a rumor.

The first jet service appeared at LAX in 1959, transporting passengers between LAX and New York. The first wide-bodied jets appeared in 1970 when TWA flew Boeing 747s between LAX and New York.

In 1981, the airport began a substantial $700 million expansion in preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics. To streamline traffic flow and ease congestion, the U-shaped roadway leading to the terminal entrances was given a second level, with the lower level dedicated to picking up arriving passengers and the upper level dedicated to dropping off departing passengers. Two new terminals (Terminal 1 and the International Terminal) were constructed and Terminal 2, then two decades old, was rebuilt. Multi-story parking structures were also built in the center of the airport.

On July 8, 1982, groundbreaking for the two new terminals were conducted by Mayor Tom Bradley and World War II aviator General James Doolittle. The $123 million, 963,000-square-foot (89,500 m2) International Terminal was opened on June 11, 1984 and named in Bradley's honor.

In 1996, a new 277 foot (84 m) tall air traffic control tower, with overhanging awnings that shade the windows and make the building vaguely resemble a palm tree, was constructed at a cost of $29 million.

In 2000, prior to Los Angeles hosting the Democratic National Convention. fourteen acrylic glass cylinders, each up to ten stories high, were placed in a circle around the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Century Boulevard, with additional cylinders of decreasing height following Century Boulevard eastward. The cylinders, lit from inside, slowly cycle through a rainbow of colors, and provide an additional landmark for visitors arriving by air at night. This was part of an overall facelift that included new signage and various other cosmetic enhancements.

At various points in its history, LAX has been a hub for TWA, Air California, Continental, Delta, PSA, USAir, Western Airlines, and the Flying Tiger Line.

Starting in the mid-1990s under Los Angeles Mayors Richard Riordan and James Hahn modernization and expansion plans for LAX were prepared only to be stymied by a coalition spearheaded by residents who live near the airport angry at noise, pollution and traffic impacts of the existing facility. In late 2005 newly elected L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was able to reach a compromise allowing some modernization to go forward while efforts are made to encourage future growth be spread among other facilities in the region.

On July 29, 2006, Runway 7R/25L was closed for reconstruction until March 25, 2007. The reconstruction was to move the runway 55 feet (17 m) south to prevent runway incursions and prepare the runway for the next generation of Airbus A380. The newly moved runway also has storm drains, and enhanced runway lighting, something that the other 3 runways do not have. The reconstruction of runway 25L made way for a central taxiway in between runways 25L and 25R. The central taxiway between runways 25L and 25R was completed in 2008.

On September 18, 2006, Los Angeles World Airports started a $503 million facelift of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Improvements include installing new paging, air conditioning and electrical systems, along with new elevators, escalators, baggage carousels and a digital sign that will automatically update flight information. Also a large explosives-detection machine will be incorporated into the terminal's underground baggage system, in which the federal government will fund part of the system.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in February 2007, many airlines flying outside of the United States have reduced flights to LAX and moved to other airports, such as San Francisco International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada due to outdated terminals. Airlines flying out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal have reduced flights because the International Terminal is 22 years old and has not been upgraded.

In response to the report, the $500 million Tom Bradley International Terminal project began immediately.

On March 19, 2007, the Airbus A380 made its debut at LAX, landing on runway 24L. LA city officials fought for the super-jumbo jet to land at LAX, in addition to making its US debut in New York's JFK airport.

On August 15, 2007, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $1.2 billion project to construct a new 10 gate terminal to handle international flights using the A380. Adding the first new gates built since the early 1980s, the new structure is to be built directly west of the Tom Bradley International Terminal on a site that is occupied mostly by aircraft hangars with passengers ferried to the building by an underground people mover extending from the terminal. It is expected to be completed in 2012.

On March 31, 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that international airlines were once again flocking to LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal and have added or are announcing several flights to a variety of existing and new destinations. The weak dollar has caused a surge in demand for US travel, and among the new airlines at LAX are V Australia and Emirates Airlines. In addition, Korean Air, Qantas, Air China, and Air France are all adding new routes, and Brazilian carriers TAM Airlines and OceanAir are planning to begin service, as is a new British airline that will be offering all-business-class round trip flights on the busy Los Angeles-London route. Most of the new flights will start in mid to late 2008 and will raise the number of travelers to the airport to pre-9/11 levels. The influx of new flights comes amidst the renovation of the airport and underscores LAX's status as the international gateway of the US West Coast.

Qantas launched service with the Airbus A380 on October 20, 2008, using the west side remote gates. The select day service goes to/from Melbourne and Sydney to Los Angeles.

Before the 1930s, existing airports used a two-letter abbreviation based on the weather station at the airports. So, at that time, LA served as the designation for Los Angeles International Airport. But, with the rapid growth in the aviation industry, the designations expanded to three letters, and LA became LAX. The letter X does not otherwise have any specific meaning in this identifier. Portland International Airport in Oregon and Jacksonville International Airport in Florida also have similar codes: PDX and JAX. "LAX" is also used for the International Port of Los Angeles located in San Pedro and for the Amtrak-serving Union Station in downtown. All three along with the Atlanta (ATL) and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) designations have become culturally eponymous and are often used in shorthand as an indicator of identity by local residents.

LAX handles more "origin and destination" (i.e. not connecting) passengers than any other airport in the world. It is the world's fifth-busiest airport by passenger traffic and eleventh-busiest by cargo traffic, serving over 60 million passengers and more than two million tons of freight in 2006. It is the busiest airport in the state of California, and the third-busiest airport by passenger traffic in the United States based on final 2006 statistics. In terms of international passengers, LAX is the second-busiest in the U.S. (behind only JFK International Airport in New York City), and 26th worldwide.

LAX connects 87 domestic and 69 international destinations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. Its most prominent airlines are United Airlines (18.24% of passenger traffic, combined with United Express traffic), American Airlines (14.73%) and Southwest Airlines (12.62%). Other airlines with a presence on a lesser scale include Delta Airlines (7.33%), Alaska Airlines (4.74%), Northwest Airlines (3.79%), and Continental Airlines (3.76%). Mexicana operates the most flights of any non-American airline.

LAX has nine passenger terminals arranged in a "U", also called a "horseshoe." The terminals are served by a shuttle bus.

United Airlines/United Express operates the most departures from the airport per day (210), followed by American Airlines/ American Eagle (126), and Southwest Airlines (123).

United Airlines operates to the most destinations (61), followed by American Airlines (34), and then Alaska Airlines/Horizon (29). Qantas operates the most international trans-Pacific destinations (4), with direct services to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland. Lufthansa, Air France, and United each serve two destinations in Europe for the most there, and Alaska Airlines and Mexicana Airlines have the most destinations in Latin America (11).

In addition to these terminals, there are 2 million square feet (186,000 m²) of cargo facilities at LAX, and a heliport operated by Bravo Aviation, Continental Airlines and Qantas each have maintenance facilities at LAX although neither carrier operates a hub there.

Terminal 1 has 15 gates: 1-3, 4A-4B, 5-14. Terminal 1 was built in 1984 and is the largest of all the terminals in number of gates.

Note: Some TACA/LACSA arrivals are processed at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Terminal 2 has 11 gates: 21-21B, 22-22B, 23, 24-24B, 25-28. Terminal 2 was built in 1962 and was the original international terminal, it was completely torn down and rebuilt in 1984. Terminal 2 has CBP (Customs and Border Protection) facilities to process arriving international passengers.

Note:: Northwest Airlines' operations will be moved to Terminal 5 with Delta Airlines by June 2009.

Note: V Australia's and Alaska Airlines' international arrivals from airports without United States border preclearance are processed at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Terminal 3 has 12 gates: 30, 31A, 31B, 32, 33A, 33B, 34-36, 37A, 37B, 38, . Terminal 3 opened in 1961 and was Trans World Airlines' terminal. It formerly housed some American Airlines flights after acquiring Reno Air and TWA in 1999 and 2001, respectively, then moved all American flights to Terminal 4.

Note: American Eagle commuter flights operate from a remote terminal 0.3 mi (500 m) west of Terminal 4. "Gate 44" serves as the shuttle bus stop at Terminal 4. The Eagle terminal is also connected by shuttle buses to Terminals 2 (Gate 22A), 3 (Gate 35), 5, and 6, because of Eagle's codesharing with Northwest Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Air, Delta Air Lines, and Continental Airlines respectively.

Terminal 4 has 14 gates: 40, 41, 42A, 42B, 43, 44 (bus to American Eagle satellite terminal), 45, 46A, 46B, 47A, 47B, 48A, 48B, 49B. Terminal 4 was built in 1961 and in 2001 was renovated at a cost of $400 million in order to improve the appearance and functionality of the terminal. An international arrivals facility was also added in the renovation serving American Airlines flights.

Terminal 5 has 14 gates: 50B, 51A-51B, 52A-52B, 53A-53B, 54A-54B, 55A, 56, 57, 58A, 59. Western Airlines had occupied this terminal since its opening in 1962, and then Western was merged with Delta Air Lines on April 1, 1987. Terminal 5 was re-designed, expanded to include a connector building between the original satellite and the ticketing facilities, and remodeled from 1986 through early 1988. It was unofficially named 'Delta's Oasis at LAX' with the slogan 'Take Five at LAX' when construction was completed in the summer of 1988. Many of these gates are no longer used due to the economic crisis of 2008 and Delta's reduced flight schedule. Northwest Airlines, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, will move its operations to Terminal 5 from Terminal 2 to be adjacent to Delta by June 2009 .

Terminal 6 has 14 gates: 60, 61, 62-62A, 63-66, 67A-67B, 68A-68B, 69A-69B. This terminal has changed little from its opening in 1961; in 1979, new gates were expanded from the main building, as is obvious from the rotunda at the end. Four of these gates have two jetways, which can accommodate large aircraft.

Terminal 6 hosts airline tenants with a variety of relationships with the Airport. Continental built and owns the Connector Building (which links the Ticketing and Satellite buildings), and leases much of the space in the Ticketing Building. Continental in turn leases some of its Connector gates to Delta, supplementing its base at Terminal 5. United leases space from the Airport in Terminal 6, in addition to its base at Terminal 7. Most of the Satellite gates can feed arriving passengers into a sterile corridor that shunts them to Terminal 7's customs and immigration facility. Other airlines, such as AirTran, Sun Country, Frontier, and Spirit, lease space and operate at Terminal 6 under a monthly tariff agreement. Also, one foreign-flag airline, Copa, departs from Terminal 6.

Terminal 7 has 11 gates: 70A-70B, 71A-71B, 72-74, 75A-75B, 76, 77. This terminal opened in 1962. Five of these gates have two jetways, which accommodate large aircraft. Terminal 7 is the home to United Airlines, which operates a major hub at the airport. The terminal has been renovated and has the United Red Carpet Club and International First Class Lounge.

Terminal 8 has 9 gates: 80-88. This terminal was added for smaller jets and turboprops in 1988 and formerly served Shuttle by United flights. In 2002, United moved all non-Express flights to Terminals 6 and 7. United Express is the regional division of United Airlines operating flights generally under 2 hours long.

The Tom Bradley International Terminal has 12 gates, including six on the north concourse and six on the south concourse. In addition, there are nine satellite gates for international flights located on the west side of LAX. Passengers are ferried to the west side gates by bus.

This terminal opened for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games and is named in honor of Tom Bradley, the first African-American and longest serving (20 years) mayor of Los Angeles, and champion of LAX. The terminal is located at the west end of the passenger terminal area between Terminals 3 and 4. There are 34 airlines that serve the Tom Bradley International Terminal and the terminal handles 10 million passengers per year.

The terminal is currently undergoing major renovations to facelift and modernize the entire facility and add more building space for baggage screening equipment. The renovations include refreshed check in space with inline baggage screening, three large alliance aligned lounges plus one unaligned lounge (to replace the multiple airline specific lounges) and fully facelifted departures and arrivals areas. These renovations are expected to be completed by 2010. The current renovations do not add any new gates.

On November 17, 2008, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled vision design concepts for LAX's Bradley West and Midfield Concourse projects. Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), along with city officials, selected Fentress Architects in association with HNTB to develop a design concept for the modernization of LAX – transforming the airport with a design that both dramatically enhances the passenger experience and re-establishes it as a modern U.S. gateway in a competitive global market.

The emphasis of the modernization is to dramatically improve the passenger experience from curbside to airside with a design that adeptly captures the vibrant spirit of the City and establishes a new, refreshingly convenient functionality.

Upon entry into Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), centralized security would enhance way-finding and lead departing passengers into the Great Hall, where they can choose from a variety of world-class concessions and retail offering. The traveler will sense the enormous impact of having a space open to natural light, with both high ceiling and glass curtain walls.

International passengers arriving at TBIT would be guided through the concourse on an elevated secured corridor. The corridor would be open to the ceiling above, allowing maximum natural daylight to welcome passengers to Los Angeles. The enlarged corridor would allow for changing public art exhibits that introduce travelers to the diverse culture of Los Angeles. These passengers would have shorter waiting periods in the expanded passport control and baggage claim areas. Interactive graphics through the passport control and baggage claim areas would welcome passengers not only to Los Angeles, but to the United States.

There is still much to be done before the first shovel is in the ground. Each of these projects must first complete a rigorous environmental review process.

Terminals not listed here do require a land side connection, where you would have to leave the terminal and walk or use the LAX Transfer Bus to connect and re-clear security in the connecting terminal. Such connections can be time consuming and do normally require set minimum connections times to be considered a legal connection.

LAX can be reached using the Century Boulevard exit (and several more northern exits) on Interstate 405, or the Sepulveda Boulevard exit on Interstate 105. Like all other California airports (with the exception of San Francisco International), LAX does not have direct freeway access; all visitors entering by car must pass at least one traffic light-controlled intersection to transition from the freeway into the airport's main loop road.

Out of a number of bus systems, many routes (local, rapid and express) of the LACMTA, Line 6 of the Culver CityBus system, Line 8 of Torrance Transit, and the regular as well as the rapid buses of the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus system's Line 3 all make stops at the LAX City Bus Center in Parking Lot C. on 96th St., where shuttle bus "C" offers free connections to and from every LAX terminal, and at the Green Line Station, where shuttle bus "G" connects to and from the terminals.

The FlyAway Bus is a shuttle service run by the LAWA, which travels between one of three terminals, and stops at every LAX terminal. The service is operated 24 hours a day with each line operating at least one trip per hour, with more trips in daytime, with the exception of the line to and from Westwood, which does not run in the early morning hours. The one way ticket price is $6 cash for adults ($5 from Westwood), $4 for seniors (65 and older)/disabled/medicare, and free for children under age two. All terminals offer optional remote passenger and baggage check-in services for $5 per person. All lines use Los Angeles's system of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to expedite their trips.

China Airlines operates private bus services from LAX to Monterey Park and Rowland Heights for its passengers.

Shuttle bus "G" offers a free connection to the Aviation/LAX station on the Metro Green Line. The line was originally intended to connect directly to the airport, but budgetary restraints and opposition from local long-term parking lot owners impeded its progress. A Metro Rail extension to LAX is a part of both LAX and Metro's master plans.

Taxicab services are operated by nine city-authorized taxi companies and regulated by Authorized Taxicab Supervision Inc. (ATS). ATS maintains a taxicab holding lot under the 96th Street Bridge where, at peak periods, hundreds of cabs queue up to wait their turn to pull into the central terminal area to pick up riders. A number of private shuttle companies, among them Prime Time Shuttle, SuperShuttle, and Roadrunner Shuttle provide door-to-door airport transportation as well. Roadrunner Shuttle, apart from shared ride vans, also offers Limousine and Bus services to LAX airport. X-Press Shuttle operated door-to-door airport transportation until 2001, when they lost their contract to maintain a shared ride vans station at LAX.

The United States Coast Guard operates an air station at LAX, covering Coast Guard operations in various Southern California locations, including Catalina Island, which are part of the Coast Guard's Eleventh District. Missions include search and rescue (SAR), Law enforcement, aids to navigation support (such as operating lighthouses) and various military operations. In addition, Coast Guard helicopters assigned to the air station deploy to Coast Guard cutters. The air station currently maintains and operates 3 HH-65 Dolphin helicopters.

The Flight Path Learning Center is a museum located at 6661 Imperial Highway and was formerly known as the "West Imperial Terminal." This building used to house some charter flights (Condor Airlines) and regular scheduled flights by MGM Grand Air. It sat empty for 10 years until it was re-opened as a learning center for LAX.

The center contains information on the history of aviation, several pictures of the airport, as well as aircraft scale models, flight attendant uniforms, and general airline memorabilia such as playing cards, china, magazines, signs, even a TWA gate information sign.

The museum claims to be "the only aviation museum and research center situated at a major airport and the only facility with a primary emphasis on contributions of civil aviation to the history and development of Southern California". However, there are other museums at major airports including the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum adjacent to Washington Dulles Airport, the Royal Thai Air Force Museum at Don Muang Airport, the Suomen ilmailumuseo (Finnish Aviation Museum) at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the Frontier of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field, and others.

To the top



Los Angeles Police Department

Lapdtraffic jpg w180h142.jpg

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With nearly 9,900 officers and more than 3,000 female staff, covering an area of 473 square miles (1,230 km2) with a population of more than 3.8 million people, it is the fifth-largest law enforcement agency in the United States (behind the New York City Police Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation).

The first specific Los Angeles police force was founded in 1853 as the Los Angeles Rangers, a volunteer force that assisted the existing County forces. The Rangers were soon succeeded by the Los Angeles City Guards, another volunteer group. Neither force was particularly efficient and Los Angeles became known for its violence, gambling and "vice". The first paid force was created in 1869, when six officers were hired to serve under City Marshal William C. Warren. By 1900, under John M. Glass, there were 70 officers, one for every 1,500 people. In 1903, with the start of the Civil Service, this force was increased to 200.

During World War II, under Clemence B. Horrall, the overall number of personnel was depleted by the demands of the military. Despite efforts to maintain numbers, the police could do little to control the 1943 Zoot Suit Riots.

Horrall was replaced by a retired Marine general, William A. Worton, who acted as interim chief until 1950, when William H. Parker succeeded him and would serve until his death in 1966. Parker advocated police professionalism and autonomy from civilian administration. However, the Bloody Christmas scandal in 1951 led to calls for civilian accountability and an end to alleged police brutality.

Under Parker, LAPD also formed the first SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team in United States law enforcement Officer John Nelson and then-inspector Daryl Gates created the program in 1965 to deal with threats from radical organizations such as the Black Panther Party operating during the Vietnam War era.

Since the establishment of the Los Angeles Police Department, 200 officers have died in the line of duty. The Los Angeles Police Memorial is a monument outside Parker Center, the LAPD's headquarters, and was unveiled on October 1, 1971. The monument is a fountain made from black granite, the base of which is inscribed with the names of the LAPD officers who have died while serving the City of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners is a five-member body of appointed officials which oversees the LAPD. The board is responsible for setting policies for the department and overseeing the LAPD's overall management and operations. The Chief of Police reports to the board, but the rest of the department reports to the chief. The headquarters for the LAPD is the Parker Center, named after former chief William H. Parker. A new headquarters building is currently being constructed.

The majority of the LAPD's 9800 officers are assigned within the Office of Operations, located in the Parker Center. An Assistant Chief commands the office, and reports directly to the Chief of Police. The LAPD comprises 21 stations, known officially as "Areas" but also commonly referred to as "Divisions." The 21 stations are then grouped geographically into four command areas, each known as a "Bureau." There are two additional bureaus, the Detective Bureau and the Special Operations Bureau. The latest areas, "Olympic" and "Topanga," were added on January 4, 2009, bringing the total to 21 stations.

The computer statistics unit (COMPSTAT), reports directly to the Chief of Detectives. The COMPSTAT unit maintains statistical crime data and hold weekly meetings with the Chief of Police to review the data. COMPSTAT is the LAPD's version of the NYPD CompStat unit, which was originally developed in 1994 by current LAPD Chief William Bratton, while he was still the NYPD Police Commissioner. When Bratton became chief of the LAPD in 2002, he immediately implemented the COMPSTAT system in the LAPD.

The Special Operations Bureau provides the Los Angeles Police Department specialized tactical resources in support of operations during daily field activities, unusual occurrences and, especially, during serious disturbances and elevated terrorism threat conditions.

The Central Bureau is responsible for downtown Los Angeles and East Los Angeles, and is the most densely populated of the four patrol bureaus. It consists of five patrol divisions and a traffic division, which handles traffic-related duties such as accident investigation and the issuing of citations/tickets.

The Central Area (#1) station serves the vast majority of downtown Los Angeles, including Los Angeles City Hall, the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Staples Center, the Fashion District, and the Financial District.

The Hollenbeck Area (#4) community police station serves the easternmost portions of the city of Los Angeles, including the communities of Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, and El Sereno.

The Newton Area (#13) serves part of downtown Los Angeles, including part of the Fashion District.

The Northeast Area (#11) is responsible for parts of central Los Angeles including Elysian Park (Dodger Stadium) and Silver Lake, along with the easternmost parts of Los Feliz and Hollywood, as well as the northeast Los Angeles communities of Highland Park, Eagle Rock, and Glassell Park.

The Rampart Area (#2) serves regions to the west and northwest of Downtown Los Angeles including Echo Park, Pico-Union and Westlake, all together designated as the Rampart Division's patrol area. It was the Rampart Division building, which was newly constructed at the time, that served as the home station in the Jack Webb created police drama Adam-12, although the show used the number designation (1), for Central Division.

The South Bureau oversees South Los Angeles with the exception of Inglewood and Compton, which are both separate cities that maintain their own law enforcement agencies (in Compton's case, a contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department). The South Bureau consists of four patrol divisions and a traffic division, which handles traffic-related duties such as accident investigation and the issuing of citations/tickets.

The 77th Street Area (#12) serves a portion of South Los Angeles, roughly in an area south of Vernon Avenue, west of the Harbor Freeway, north of Manchester Avenue and points west to the city limits, including the Crenshaw region. A section of South Central Los Angeles that borders Florence, Central and Manchester Avenues to the Harbor Freeway is also part of this division.

The Harbor Area (#5) serves all of San Pedro and the Harbor Gateway annex south of Artesia Boulevard. This division often works with the Port of Los Angeles Police.

The Southeast Area (#18), like the 77th Street Division, patrols a part of South Los Angeles. Their area extends to the city limits north of Artesia Boulevard, includes Watts, and areas south of Manchester Avenue.

The Southwest Area (#3) serves all of the city limits south of the Santa Monica Freeway, west of the Harbor Freeway, north of Vernon Avenue, and east of the Culver City/Lennox/Baldwin Hills area. This section also includes the University of Southern California and Exposition Park.

The Valley Bureau is the largest of the four patrol bureaus in terms of size (about 221 square miles), and oversees operations within the San Fernando Valley. It consists of seven patrol divisions and a traffic division, which handles traffic-related duties such as accident investigation and the issuing of citations/tickets.

The Mission Area (#19) community police station began operations in May 2005. This was the first new station to be created in more than a quarter of a century. The Mission Area covers the eastern half of the old Devonshire and the western half of the Foothill divisions in the San Fernando Valley, including Mission Hills and Panorama City.

The Foothill Area (#16) patrols parts of the San Fernando Valley (including Sylmar and Sun Valley) and the Crescenta Valley (including Sunland-Tujunga).

The North Hollywood Area (#15) is responsible for Studio City and the North Hollywood region.

The Van Nuys Area (#9) serves the area of Van Nuys, California.

The West Valley Area (#10) is responsible for parts of the San Fernando Valley, including parts of Northridge and Reseda, where it is based.

The Topanga (#21) community police station began operations on January 4, 2009. It is responsible for parts of the San Fernando Valley that are within the city's 3rd Council District (represented by former officer Dennis Zine), including Woodland Hills and Canoga Park, where it is based.

The West Bureau's operations cover most of the well-known areas of Los Angeles, including Hollywood, the Hollywood Hills area, the UCLA campus and Venice. This does not include Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, which are separate from Los Angeles and maintain their own law enforcement agencies. The West Bureau consists of five patrol divisions and a traffic division, which handles traffic-related duties such as accident investigation and the issuing of citations/tickets.

The Hollywood Area (#6) community police station serves the Hollywood region, including the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood Boulevard and the Sunset Strip.

The Wilshire Area (#7) community police station serves the Mid-Wilshire "Miracle Mile" region, including Koreatown, Mid-City, Carthay, and the Fairfax District.

The West Los Angeles Area (#8) community police station serves the northern portion of the West Side. Communities within its service area include Pacific Palisades, Century City, Brentwood, Westwood, West Los Angeles and Cheviot Hills. UCLA and Twentieth Century Fox are both located here.

The Olympic (#20) community police station opened its doors on January 4, 2009, with an open house on January 17. The Olympic Area will be a small section of the Hollywood Division, and is composed of areas from Rampart and Wilshire divisions. It provides services to a 6.2-square-mile area of the Mid-City region, including Koreatown and a section of the Miracle Mile, with a population of 200,000. The 54,000-square-foot station is located at the southeast corner of Vermont Avenue and Eleventh Street and houses 293 officers. The construction cost was $34 million.

The Real-Time Analysis & Critical Response Division began operations in March 2006. It is composed of the Department Operations Section, which includes the Department Operations Center Unit, Department Operations Support Unit and the Incident Command Post Unit; Detective Support Section and the Crime Analysis Section.

Rank insignia for Lieutenant I and up are metal pins worn on the collars of the shirt and the shoulders of the jacket. Rank insignia for Sergeant II and below are embroidered chevrons worn on the upper sleeves.

Tenured officers will have silver-gray hash-marks on the lower left side of their long-sleeved shirts. Each mark represents five years of service.

Since 1876, there have been 53 appointed chiefs of the Los Angeles Police Department. William H. Parker was the longest serving police chief in Los Angeles Police Department history, serving for 16 years as chief.

The Los Angeles Police Department has suffered from chronic underfunding and under-staffing recently.. Compared to most other large cities in the United States, Los Angeles has historically had one of the lowest ratios of police personnel to population served. Chief of Police William J. Bratton has made enlarging the force one of his top priorities (Bratton has been quoted as saying, "You give me 4,000 more officers and I'll give you the safest city in the world").

The Los Angeles Police Department protects its city with only one officer for every 426 residents. As a point of comparison, New York City boasts one NYPD officer for every 228 residents. For Los Angeles to have the same ratio of officers as New York City, the LAPD would need to add nearly 17,000 officers. Further points of comparison include Chicago, which has a ratio of one officer per 216 citizens and Philadelphia, whose officer per citizen ratio is 1 to 219.

The department is in the middle of a massive recruiting effort, looking to hire an additional 1,500 police officers. As of spring 2008, the LAPD was offering as much as $54,475-58,881 to new recruits. (The NYPD offers new recruits substantially lower salaries, ranging from $35,881-$41,975.) One problem with such a drive is the lack of qualified candidates. Stringent hiring practices instituted by the department (following several accusations of corruption, including the Rampart scandal) has led to fewer than 1 in 10 initial applicants actually being hired. Also, the city has four specialized agencies, not directly affiliated with the LAPD, which serve the Port, the Airport, the City Hall, Library, and Zoo, and the Unified School District.

During the Parker-Davis-Gates period, the LAPD was overwhelmingly white (80% in 1980), and many officers resided outside of the city. Simi Valley, the Ventura County suburb that later became infamous as the site of the state trial that immediately preceded the 1992 Los Angeles riots, has long been home to a particularly large concentration of LAPD officers, almost all of them white. A 1994 ACLU study of officers' home zip codes, concluded that over 80% of police officers lived outside city boundaries.

Hiring quotas began to change this during the 1980s, but it was not until the Christopher Commission reforms that substantial numbers of African-American, Hispanic, and Asian officers began to join the force. Minority officers can be found in both rank-and-file and leadership positions in virtually all divisions, and the LAPD is starting to reflect the general population.

The LAPD hired the first female police officer in the United States in 1910, Ms Alice Stebbins Wells. Since then, women have been a small, but growing part of the force. Through the early 1970s, women were classified as "policewomen" on the LAPD. Through the 1950s, their duties generally consisted as working as matrons in the jail system, or dealing with troubled youths working in detective assignments. Rarely did they work any type of field assignment and they were not allowed to promote above the rank of sergeant. However, a lawsuit by a policewoman, Fanchon Blake, from the 1980s instituted court ordered mandates that the department begin actively hiring and promoting women police officers in its ranks. The department eliminated the rank of "Policeman" from new hires at that time along with the rank of "Policewoman." Anyone already in those positions was grandfathered in, but new hires were classified instead as "Police Officers," which continues to this day.

In 2002, women made up 18.9% of the force. Women have made significant strides within the ranks of the department since the days of the Fanchon Blake lawsuit. The highest ranking woman in the department today is Assistant Chief Sharon Papa, who came to the LAPD as a Commander from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Transit Police Department in 1997. Chief Papa was the last Chief of Police from the MTA, and is now in charge of the Office of Support Services.

The LAPD also hired the first two known black police officers in the United States. In 1886, the department hired its first two African-American officers, Robert William Stewart and Roy Green.

According to the US Department of Justice, the LAPD was 82% male in 2000. 46% of the department was white, 33% of the department was Hispanic/Latino, 14% was African American, and 7% was Asian.

LAPD patrol officers have a three-day 12-hour and 4 day-10 hour work week schedule. The department has over 250 types of job assignments, and each officer is eligible for such assignments after two years on patrol. LAPD patrol officers almost always work with a partner, unlike most suburban departments surrounding the city of Los Angeles, which deploy officers in one-officer units in order to maximize police presence and to allow a smaller number of officers to patrol a larger area.

The department's training division has three facilities throughout the city, including Elysian Park, Ahmanson Recruit Training Center (Westchester), and the Edward Davis Training Center (Granada Hills).

Pay and benefits, however, are a plus to new LAPD officers, who are among some of the highest-paid police officers in the country. As of spring 2007, new recruits could earn money through sign on bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Sign on bonuses are paid 1/2 after graduation from the academy, and 1/2 after completion of probation. Also, $2,000 could be added for out of town sign ons for housing arrangements.

The LAPD has vast resources, including the third largest civilian air force in the country. Only the Civil Air Patrol and Office of CBP Air & Marine command a larger force. The Los Angeles Police Air Support Division resources include 17 helicopters ranging from 4 Bell 206 Jet Rangers to 12 Eurocopter AS350-B2 AStars, and 1 Bell UH-1 Huey (No longer in service due to maintenance issues). The LAPD also has 1 Beechcraft Kingair A200 and 1 unspecified and undenied drone.

Main Airship missions are flown out of downtown's Piper Tech center at the Hooper Heliport, located outside of Union Station. The LAPD also houses air units at Van Nuys airport.

Three vehicles are approved for use within the Los Angeles Police Department; they are the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, the Dodge Charger, and the Chevrolet Tahoe. The department is also testing the Chevrolet Impala in their fleet.

Before 1988, LAPD officers were armed with the Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 Special revolver or the Model 36 "Chief's Special." In response to increasing firepower carried by criminals, including fully automatic weapons and assault rifles, LAPD patrol officers were issued Beretta 92FSs. Later, officers were able to carry the Smith & Wesson Model 5906, a semi-automatic 9mm pistol, in addition to a few other approved weapons. In response to the North Hollywood shootout of 1997, LAPD officers had the option of carrying the Smith & Wesson Model 4506 & 4566 service pistols. Chambered in .45 ACP, these firearms provided the officer with more stopping power than the standard-issue 9mm cartridge. Until 2002, LAPD officers standard issue pistol was the Beretta 92F. However, when William Bratton was appointed Chief of the LAPD, he allowed his officers to carry the Glock pistol, a weapon which the two previous departments he was chief at (NYPD and Boston PD) carried. New officers graduating from the LAPD academy are now issued the Glock 22 in .40 S&W. Officers now have the choice of carrying either the Glock 17 9mm, the Glock 22, or the Glock 21 in .45 ACP (only in SIS, the Special Investigation Section unit). The LAPD SWAT team decided to go with the Kimber Custom TLE II in 2002, renaming it the Kimber LAPD SWAT Custom II TLE. Before that, LAPD SWAT carried modified Springfield or Colt M1911 pistols.SWAT's primary weapons are the Heckler & Koch MP5 series submachine guns and most officers choose the fixed stock A2 model. For assistant weapons, officers carry AR-15s and CAR-15s. They used United States Air Force model M16s in the 60's and 70's. In the 80's and early 90's they carried Colt RO727s and RO733s. In 2000 they imported the M4A1s. Now SWAT carry M4A1s and converted M16A2s. LAPD SWAT uses two shotguns, the Remington 870 (mostly for non-combat usages) and the Benelli M1 Super 90 Entry (for combat).

In addition, the Remington 870 or Ithaca 37 12 gauge shotguns are carried in most patrol vehicles and qualified personnel may carry the Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in .223 Remington which are military surplus rifles, introduced after the 1997 North Hollywood shootout.

The Los Angeles Police Department Medal of Valor is the highest law enforcement medal awarded to officers by the Los Angeles Police Department. The Medal of Valor is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for individual acts of extraordinary bravery or heroism performed in the line of duty at extreme and life-threatening personal risk.

The Liberty Award, an award for bravery, was created in 1990 and has only been awarded once in the Department's history. It is a medal for police canines who are killed or seriously injured in the line of duty. The award is named after Liberty, a Metropolitan Division K-9 who was shot and killed in the line of duty. Liberty's handler received the Medal of Valor for the same incident.

The Police Medal is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for individual acts of heroism in the line of duty, though not above and beyond the call of duty, as is required for the Medal of Valor.

The Police Star is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for performing with exceptional judgment and/or utilizing skillful tactics in order to diffuse dangerous and stressful situations.

The Police Life-Saving Medal is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for taking action in order to rescue or attempt the rescue of either a fellow officer or any person from imminent danger.

Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1984 Summer Olympics from July 28 to August 12, 1984.

Given to LAPD officers who were used during the September 1987 pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II.

Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1992 Los Angeles riots from April 29 to May 4, 1992.

Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake from January 17 to January 18, 1994.

Awarded for 4000 hours of service as a Reserve Police officer.

The Los Angeles riots of 1992, also known as the Rodney King uprising or the Rodney King riots, began on April 29, 1992 when a jury acquitted four LAPD police officers accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King following a high-speed pursuit on March 3, 1991. Immediately following the King incident, the Christopher Commission was formed in July 1991. The commission, chaired by attorney Warren Christopher (who later became U.S. Secretary of State), investigated the LAPD's hiring practices, as well as their handling of excessive force complaints. However, with the election of Richard Riordan in 1992 before the verdict, the reforms recommended by Christopher were put on hold.

After seven days of jury deliberations, the jury acquitted all four officers of assault and acquitted three of the four of using excessive force. The evening after the verdict, thousands of people in the Los Angeles area rioted over the six days following the verdict. Widespread looting, assault, arson, and murder occurred, and property damages totaled one billion dollars. In all, 53 people died during the riots.

Following the Rampart Division C.R.A.S.H. scandal of the late 1990s - early 2000s, the United States Department of Justice entered into a consent decree with the LAPD regarding numerous civil rights violations. Mayor Richard J. Riordan and the Los Angeles city council agreed to the terms of the decree on November 2, 2000. The federal judge formally entered the decree into law on June 15, 2001. The consent decree is legally binding and will last until at least 2009. However, if any judge finds the LAPD in violation of the decree, federal oversight of the LAPD could be extended beyond this current deadline.

The Consent Decree Bureau is the LAPD bureau charged with overseeing this process. Since 2003, The Commanding Officer of the Consent Decree Bureau, a civilian appointed by the Chief of Police, is Police Administrator Gerald L. Chaleff.

Other controversies include former detective Mark Fuhrman's role in the Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman murder investigation (1994),, as well as the Rampart Scandal-related Javier Ovando incident (In which Ovando, an unarmed teenage gang member, was shot, paralyzed, and framed by officers Rafael Perez and Nino Durden (1996) and served 2 1/2 years of a 23 year sentence before being exonerated),, the controversy surrounding the arrest of Stanley Miller (2004), the shooting death of 19-month-old Suzie Pena, who was shot in the head by police while being used as a human shield by her father (2005), and the LAPD's reaction to illegal immigrant rallies (2007).

In 1962, the controversial LAPD shooting of 7 unarmed members of the Nation of Islam resulted in the death of Ronald Stokes, and led to protests of the LAPD led by Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. In 1972, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt was framed by members of both the LAPD and FBI, and his conviction was overturned on appeal on February 18, 1999. In 1988, African-American baseball sportscaster and retired Baseball Hall of Fame player Joe Morgan was detained at Los Angeles International Airport by LAPD and L.A. Airport Police officers after falsely being identified as a drug dealer. He was released when the LAPD realized their mistake in identity. Morgan subsequently filed a civil suit against both the LAPD and the city after he was denied the opportunity to file a formal complaint against the LAPD. The lawsuit would eventually be settled in 1993, and Morgan was awarded $800,000 by the Los Angeles City Council.

The widely-publicized case of Christine and Walter Collins was depicted in the 2008 film "Changeling" starring Angelina Jolie. In March 1928, Christine Collins reported her nine-year-old son, Walter, missing. Five months later a boy named Arthur Hutchins came forth claiming to be Walter. When Mrs. Collins tried to tell the police that the boy was not her son, she was committed to a mental institution under a Section 12 internment. Section 12 commitments were frequently used by the police department to silence anyone they found to be an embarrassment or inconvenience to the department. It was later determined that Walter had actually fallen victim to a child rapist/murderer in the infamous Wineville Chicken Coop Murders. Arthur Hutchins eventually admitted that he had lied about his identity in order to get to Hollywood and meet his favorite actor, Tom Mix.

Several prominent representations of the LAPD and its officers include Adam-12, Dragnet, Crash, Colors, The Terminator, Blue Thunder, Heat, Cellular, Die Hard, the The Shield, Training Day, Internal Affairs, Street Kings, Unlawful Entry, Dark Blue, Lakeview Terrace and the Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour film series. The television series LAPD: Life On the Beat provided a more accurate depiction of the LAPD.

The independently iconic television series Dragnet, with LAPD Detective Joe Friday as the primary character, was the first major media representation of the department. Real LAPD operations inspired Jack Webb to create the series and close cooperation with department officers let him make it as realistic as possible, including authentic police equipment and sound recording on-site at the police station.

Due to Dragnet's popularity, LAPD chief Parker "became, after J. Edgar Hoover, the most well known and respected law enforcement official in the nation." In the 1960s, when the LAPD under Chief Thomas Reddin expanded its community relations division and began efforts to reach out to the black community, Dragnet followed suit with more emphasis on internal affairs and community policing than solving crimes, the show's previous mainstay.

It has also been the subject of several novels, probably the most famous of which is L.A. Confidential, a novel by James Ellroy that was made into a film of the same name. Both chronicled mass-murder and corruption inside and outside the force during the Parker era. Critic Roger Ebert indicates that the film's characters (from the 1950s) "represent the choices ahead for the LAPD": assisting Hollywood limelight, aggressive policing with relaxed ethics, and a "straight arrow" approach. A Native-American LAPD detective is also featured in the novel Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult.

L.A. Confidential is part of a modern trend of more negative portrayals of the department that started with the Rodney King beating and subsequent riots. Examples of this include Changeling, a 2008 film that depicts LAPD corruption in the late 1920s. There was, however, much tension in LA prior to the riots, as evidenced by songs such as Fuck Tha Police by rap group N.W.A. The Closer is a contemporary example of a neutral portrayal which has been missing in recent media coverage of the LAPD.

LAPD SWAT has also been popularized in the media, most notably in the television series S.W.A.T. and the 2003 film by the same name.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia