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Inside Politics

Security high for Reagan funeral

From Jeanne Meserve and Kevin Bohn
CNN Washington Bureau

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Several federal and local security agencies are preparing for the events surrounding the state funeral of former President Ronald Reagan in Washington this week.

The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, the Park Police, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service and the FBI are expected to help secure locations and events, officials said Monday.

Reagan died Saturday at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. He was 93 and had suffered from debilitating Alzheimer's disease for at least a decade.

A private service was held Monday morning for the Reagan family at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

The former president's casket will lie in repose there until 6 p.m. Tuesday for the public to pay their last respects. Then the casket will be flown to the nation's capital for a state funeral.

The Department of Homeland Security has designated all the activities in California and Washington related to Reagan's memorial a special security event, which makes the Secret Service the lead agency for overseeing precautions.

"We are confident we can provide a safe and secure environment," a Secret Service spokeswoman said.

Among the other events with the same designation are the G-8 economic summit this week on Sea Island, Georgia, and the upcoming political conventions.

Officials suggested several of the measures planned for those events -- including sharpshooters, bomb-sniffing dogs and undercover police roaming the crowds -- will be employed at the funeral events.

One cause for concern is that this is the first state funeral in Washington in more than 30 years, with a number of world leaders attending.

Another is the warning from the Justice Department and FBI that al Qaeda would like to attack the United States in the next few months. (Full story)

Among the activities that will have to be secured are the funeral procession Wednesday from Andrews Air Force Base to the Capitol, the transport of the casket Friday to the National Cathedral and the service there.

There is expected to be tight security when thousands of people enter the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday night and Thursday to view the former president's casket lying in state.

In California, the state highway patrol and local police are assisting the security effort.

The Secret Service helped oversee the unprecedented security at last month's dedication of the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, but it was not designated a special security event.

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