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California Briefing / Los Angeles

City refused to grease light poles

June 19, 2009|Andrew Blankstein

In the run-up to the Lakers' victory parade, Los Angeles police tried to prepare for every possible contingency.

So it was cause for some angst in the pre-parade command briefings when one request in particular by the Los Angeles Police Department went unfulfilled by the city's general services department.

Los Angeles police commanders had asked the department to apply grease to light standards along the parade route to thwart anyone who might want to climb them for a closer look, or worse.

Because the lights hang over the street, planners worried that someone might try to drop from one of the light standards into one of the double-decker buses carrying the Lakers players and families.

City officials told police that applying the grease was a "risk management issue." But LAPD officials argued the same could be said for not doing it.

-- Andrew Blankstein

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