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Lakers parade: Police operate from convention center [Updated]

June 17, 2009 |  7:02 am

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[Updated at 8:25 a.m.: As thousands of Lakers fans poured into the downtown area for the Lakers parade this morning, the Los Angeles Convention Center was transformed into the nerve center for law enforcement operations.

The LAPD went on tactical alert at 8 a.m., allowing the department to keep officers working for up to 12 hours if necessary.

Inside the convention center, dozens of tables were set up for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. TV screens displayed local news stations; others broadcast live feeds from cameras placed along the parade route to scan the crowd and zero in on troublemakers.

In the middle of it all, a giant aerial-view map was posted, with colored markers representing key locations in the downtown area, including Staples Center and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The map showed the parade route, with dozens of colored cards marking the locations of various units. Amid the squads of officers, security cameras and police helicopters will be undercover officers posing as Lakers fans.

All the resources will be deployed from one area to another as the parade moves along the route.]

At the L.A. Convention Center this morning, hundreds of LAPD officers were briefed on the Lakers parade situation.

They were told that thousands of fans began gathering downtown at sunrise and that the L.A. Coliseum would be packed with revelers for the post-parade celebration.

"We don't intend to let the few ruin it for the many," Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese told the crowd of officers. "You are the best ambassadors for what we want to accomplish today."

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Police line the parade route along Figueroa Street as fans arrive early for the Lakers victory parade. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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