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Police: Jackson gravesite will be crowded

They advise people hoping for a close look to not attend Friday.

June 24, 2010|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

GLENDALE — Fans expecting to visit Michael Jackson's grave Friday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park to honor the first anniversary of his death will be allowed to enter the cemetery, but they shouldn't expect to get a close look at his tomb, officials said.

Glendale police and Forest Lawn officials met Wednesday to finalize plans for the thousands of fans expected to visit Jackson's gravesite Friday. International media outlets, including agencies from Japan and Israel, have also inquired about showing up, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

"The most important thing is for people to understand, don't expect anything more than any other day," he said. "Go today."

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That means there will be no public event or memorial service planned. Lorenz advised fans to visit the cemetery before Friday to avoid the crowds or long lines of people trying to get into Forest Lawn.

The site of Jackson's grave in the Holly Terrace at the cemetery's Great Mausoleum will not be open to the public, and visitation is restricted to family, Forest Lawn spokesman William Martin said in a statement.

Visitors will be allowed to walk in front of the outside of the Holly Terrace, leave flowers or other sentimental gifts, and then they must exit the cemetery, he said.

Cemetery officials will also not allow professional photographs without written consent, Martin said.

He advised guests to arrive early since visitation hours will likely be busier than normal throughout Friday.

Any visitors who don't behave respectfully while other families are visiting the graves of their loved ones or attending funerals will be asked to leave, he said.

Police will cite, arrest or ask peddlers to leave if they are selling goods outside the cemetery in violation of city ordinances, Lorenz said.

"People must try to be reverent," he said.

No-parking signs will be posted along Glendale Avenue, which will remain open throughout the day. Any vehicles parked illegally on the street, which hosted a large crowd of international media last year, will be cited or towed.

The Police Department will also reallocate officers to the area to handle any additional calls and traffic, Lorenz said.

"Please understand that these restrictions are in place to mitigate the impact on the community, local business and the school and the children without threat," Lorenz said in a statement. "We will work to prevent disturbances and unruly behavior."

Infobox

—Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary, 1712 S. Glendale Ave., is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

—Guests must follow all instructions from the cemetery's staff.

—Visitors cannot take doves; balloons; spinners; Web broadcasting; video cameras; statues; posters; incense; radios; posters; candles or other items not allowed by the cemetery.

—For more details, contact the cemetery at (800) 204-3131.

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