Four members of the Los Angeles Airport Police were recently honored as outstanding African American women in law enforcement during the fall western region training and education conference of the National Black Police Association (NBPA).

Assistant Chief Ethel McGuire, and captains LaPonda Fitchpatrick, Carolyn Smith and LaTasha Wells-Amerson, were recognized during the “Taking Charge of Change” event hosted by the Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation at the Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles.

The women were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in policing.

McGuire was a retired FBI assistant special agent in charge and executive manager of the counterterrorism field office in Los Angeles, who took over the position of assistant chief for Homeland Security and Intelligence in the LAX police department in July 2010.

Fitchpatrick, the first Black female commanding officer within the Los Angeles Airport Police Division, has worked at LAX for more than 29 years and is a nationally recognized aviation security expert.

Smith, whose initial law enforcement goal was to become a police composite artist, has worked for the LAX police department for 29 years and is credited with the creation and development of the current traffic coordination unit at the airport. This manages the flow of traffic.

Amerson-Wells, who is also an attorney, has worked for the airport since 1992 and has risen through the ranks to become commanding officer of the Professional Standards Section.