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Jackson service biggest event since '84 Olympics: police chief

Tuesday's lavish memorial service for pop icon Michael Jackson will be the biggest event in Los Angeles since the Olympics 25 years ago, said the city's police chief, who deployed an additional 1,400 officers for the occasion.

world Updated: Jul 07, 2009 21:40 IST

Tuesday's lavish memorial service for pop icon Michael Jackson will be the biggest event in Los Angeles since the Olympics 25 years ago, said the city's police chief, who deployed an additional 1,400 officers for the occasion.

"This is probably the largest event we've planned for since the 1984 Olympics," police chief William Bratton told CNN television.

Bratton said security will be ultra-tight for the event at LA's Staples Center, which is limited to 20,000 ticket holders, although expectations are that untold throngs were also likely to try to swarm the area for a glimpse of stars scheduled to take part in the service.

"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," Bratton said. "We're not anticipating disorderly crowds -- just anticipating very large crowds."

The police chief renewed authorities' call that fans without tickets watch the memorial on television. "They're better off staying at home. Then you'll be able to see the event itself," Bratton said.

"If you're down here, there won't be much to see. You won't get within several blocks of the area." The public service at 1700 GMT comes nearly two weeks after the June 25 death of the iconic singer, and is meant to celebrate Jackson's life and times in high style.

The singer's family and close friends are to attend a private funeral service for the star at 1500 GMT at the picturesque Forest Lawn mortuary nestled in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles.