Later this morning, members of Michael Jackson’s family and their closest friends will be saying their final good-byes at a private service at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. Then they will be heading to the Staples Center for the public farewell. Thousands are expected to show up with or without a ticket. Crowd control is a concern for the LAPD.
Chief of the Los Angeles police department, William Bratton spoke with CNN’s Kiran Chetry Tuesday
Kiran Chetry: You've been chief here since 2002. You guys have had to prepare for many huge events. How does this rate today as you guys prepare for what could be hundreds of thousands coming out to try to get close to this memorial service?
Chief William Bratton: This is probably the largest event we've planned for since the 1984 Olympics in terms for a planned event. We have no idea how many people are going to show up here other than those who have the tickets inside the event inside of Staples. So we've ramped up pretty significantly and we'll ramp down significantly if we don't get the crowds anticipated.
Chetry: The interesting thing is this was put together meticulously given the short time frame. If you don't have one of these bracelets that we’re all talking about you can't get here. In this situation, you have to close off the areas around here to make sure but it’s up in the air as to whether or not people will decide to come out here anyway. What are the biggest concerns if indeed huge crowds do congregate outside of this area?
Chief Bratton: We have a number of exits off the freeway that run adjacent to the Staples Center that were closed down by the California highway patrol. We have closed a multi-block perimeter around this area that you cannot get in without credentials of some sort. We have no idea how many people might plan to come down here just to be in the area. They're better off staying at home. Then you'll be able to see the event itself. If you're down here, there’s not going to be much to see. You won't get within several blocks of the area.
Chetry: You are the police chief of the second largest city so I imagine not much surprises you in terms of what you've seen. Was the huge outpouring of adoration and people who want to come out here for Michael Jackson surprising?
Chief Bratton: I don't think it's surprising to anybody at all. He was around for many, many years. He went through several generations of fans. So the fact that you're all here is the reflection of just how much attention his death has generated
Chetry: It’s no secret that California is struggling right now financially. The city of Los Angeles is struggling financially. This is going to be expensive for the department.
Chief Bratton: That's right. The estimated cost is anywhere from $2 million to $4 million as well as all of the other city services. We have a large contingent of offices. But if the crowds don't materialize, we're not anticipating disorderly crowds. We’re just anticipating very large crowds. But if they don't materialize by the time of the funeral service itself, we'll start disassembling very, very quickly.
Chetry: In an effort to keep costs down if you can. You're prepared though, for anything today. Meantime, the investigation, talks of search warrants being executed, looking for possible prescription drugs. Can you give us an update on the latest as you guys try to unravel the mystery of Michael Jackson’s death?
Chief Bratton: We have a fairly wide ranging inquiry underway. We have not been given any public statements. The reference you have, it’s from unauthorized sources. We are waiting on the toxicology reports to come back from the coroner that will assist us greatly in determining was his death caused as a result of a drug use and was that drug use appropriate or legal? So until we get that back, we're doing a lot of preliminary work and we will not be making any public statements as to the specifics of that inquiry.