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Michael Jackson's body will be taken to Staples Center

July 7, 2009 |  7:20 am

LAPD Chief William J. Bratton said today Michael Jackson's body will be at Staples Center for the memorial service. It was unclear how his body would get from Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary to Staples.

Bratton also said today the department will move quickly to release officers from memorial-related duties if things go smoothly. A large part of that will depend on the size of the crowds.

"We really don't know what the size of the crowd will be," Bratton said.

Planners prepared for the possibility of up to 1 million people, especially if the memorial was held at a large outdoor venue like the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. But a smaller, more restricted space like Staples, which will have limited access, could discourage crowds.

Still, the cost of policing the event, which will have the largest police deployment since the 1984 Olympics, could reach several million dollars. Bratton said he would like to reduce those costs as much as possible and one way was with a quick demobilization.

"This is not Monopoly money. These are real dollars," said Asst. Chief Earl Paysinger. "We evaluate the activity at the scene and try to make a smart decision as to whether or not we should keep officers on duty. We will begin to release them as the situation requires."

-- Andrew Blankstein