July 8, 2009 23:48

LA asks fans to help cover costs of Michael Jackson's memorial

The financially troubled city needs a hand with massive debt

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The city of Los Angeles is trying to find ways to help cover the costs of hosting Michael Jackson's memorial service held yesterday (July 7) at the Staples Center in downtown LA.

A spokesperson for the city attorney's office said that it may have cost the financially troubled city up to $4 million to cover the costs of police overtime and other services.

As a result, the city has set up a website where fans can make tax-deductible donations to offset the costs. It is also investigating ways it can legally make third parties pay for some of the bill, reports the Associated Press.

An estimated 17,000 people attended the memorial service in Los Angeles yesterday. Police anticipated that 250,000 people would converge on the streets near the Staples Center and deployed more than 3,000 officers to deal with the crowds beginning at 2:00 am PST. When only a small fraction of that number appeared, several officers were dismissed in an effort to cut costs.

The city is also being criticised for spending an inordinate amount of money buying lunch for the officers.

--By our Los Angeles staff.
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