LAPD deploys 3,200 officers; supervisors worry about air traffic, crowds
At an early-morning briefing, top Los Angeles Police Department brass unveiled what they called an unprecedented response plan for Michael Jackson's funeral.
LAPD Deputy Chief Earl Paysinger addressed several hundred supervisors, who gathered at a 3 a.m. briefing in the gym of the Los Angeles Fire Academy to prepare for the event. He said deployment for past events, including the 1984 Olympics, "pale in comparison to what we have assembled today."
Some 3,200 officers are expected to be deployed during the memorials. He told them that with 1 billion people expected to watch the public memorial, "literally, the eyes of the entire world will be on this place."
The LAPD has a few areas of concern. First is the crowd gathering around the so-called "cold zone," the outer perimeter blocks from the venue where people without tickets are expected to gather.
Second is the airspace above Staples. The department sought and got a temporary flight ban around the venue from the Federal Aviation Administration a mile around the venue, below 2,500 feet. Officials had been worried about a large number of helicopters layered at different altitudes. Also, a section of the northbound 110 Freeway will be closed today between Adams and 6th.
-- Andrew Blankstein in downtown L.A.