Ronald J. Boyd, Chief of Police Port of Los Angeles
Ronald J. Boydis Chief of the Los Angeles Port Police Department, one of the few police forces in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to maritime activities. The Port Police is a municipal port authority law enforcement agency with public safety responsibility for the Port of Los Angeles.
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s busiest containerized cargo port. The Port complex spans more than 7,500 acres, with 43 linear miles of waterfront. The Port generates more than $240 billion towards the U.S. economy. Combined with its sister port, the Port of Long Beach, this complex is primarily responsible for handling about 45 percent of the nation’s goods. The Port of Los Angeles is attractive to foreign trade partners because of its proximity, transit times, transportation efficiency and security measures. In addition to attractive transit times, generally stable weather and an efficient transportation infrastructure, the added confidence of having shipped goods move reliably through a secure supply chain is attractive to shippers. Efficiency is a key principle to controlling costs.
Port leadership expects Boyd’s team to be as technically efficient, legally responsive and fiscally conservative as possible in these economic times to give full value to the community it serves.
Toward that goal, the security program’s focus is on targeted critical issues, including:
• Public Safety
• Infrastructure Protection
• Emergency Management/Disaster Recovery
• Technology Implementation
• Staff Development
“Every CEO should understand that the security workforce role should not be overlooked or underestimated, given today’s societal challenges. A well-trained and prepared security team pays in great dividends when considering the risk benefit. Feeling secure has a positive effect upon public confidence, which in turn, affects consumer confidence in spending,” notes Boyd.
“Employee safety and security of the general workplace for all employees is a focal point in all of our operations,” he adds. “This includes ensuring that employees are kept current on safety challenges and safety practices in the workplace, whether in the office or in the community.”
The result of excellent risk and security management is that it drives business. “If you consider the primary focus of many first responder agencies, the Port’s investment in security and active marketing of its security measures has yielded a supplemental benefit of attracting trade to the San Pedro Bay port complex,” he says.
Many external issues can have a profound effect on sound public safety and risk management models. For instance, a prominent filmmaker recently committed suicide by jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge at the Port of Los Angeles. The bridge is outside Boyd’s office window and his dive team recovered the body. It was a busy day at the Port and the event was very public. “The impact on the victim’s family and friends is very sad and my heart goes out to them,” Boyd notes. “There was also an impact to the local community, including people who witnessed the suicide. This tragedy was most likely triggered by some other problem that is not related to the Port. But an unpredicted problem is copycat attempts. Within the same week at least two other similar attempts were reported to law enforcement.”
Keeping current with world events also needs to be on the checklist of a competent chief security officer or public safety official. There seems to be common themes related to many of the tragic events happening today. Events that happened in Aurora, Colorado or in Wisconsin, or even in other parts of the world, is evidence of negative reactions to many problems in society. These reactions, if not violent in themselves, often spur acts of violence or unrest, which impacts our sense of security. “We need to equip those we work alongside by giving them tools to help manage in these difficult situations, because they will need those tools as they go out to serve and protect others,” he says. This should also be a consideration when identifying, selecting and training new hires who will need hit the ground running to cope with today’s security and risk challenges.
Chief Boyd enjoys making a visible contribution to the national economic picture and to the effectiveness of our overall national homeland security picture through his role.
His success is the result of being dependable and being at the right place at the right time. Working as a security officer at Universal Studios in college led to an interview with Ray Charles, where he worked as his personal valet. After five years he took the advice of a police sergeant and joined the Port Police. His career advanced quickly due to his interest in developing personal skills and being a subject matter expert in his profession. When not working, he enjoys activities related to boating (naturally), fishing (kind of goes with boating) and flying general aviation aircraft (preferably rotorcraft).
Boyd is an avid reader of the Bible, so if he were not a CSO he would be a full-time minister.
• Revenue/Budget: $991,000,000
• Security Budget: $58,500,000
• Critical Issues:
– Counterterrorism/Crime Prevention
– Supply Chain Security/Infrastructure
– Emergency Management/Disaster Recovery/Crisis Management
• Asset Protection/Loss Prevention
• Business Continuity
• Corporate Security
• Disaster Recovery
• Emergency Management/Crisis Management
• Physical Security/Facilities
• Regulatory Compliance
• Supply Chain/Vendor
• Workforce/Executive/Personnel Protection