U.S. Secret Service ready for Muhammad Ali memorial service
The FBI, Homeland Security and the Secret Service have been sharing intelligence ahead of the memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – It's a big time job -- protecting Louisville and high profile visitors during the memorial service for Muhammad Ali.
“The secret service is working hand in hand with Louisville Metro, Kentucky State Police, the airport aviation police department… and a number of other agencies to provide a 360 protective environment,” Special Agent In Charge Richard Ferretti with the Secret Service told WDRB News.
Agent Ferretti said former President Bill Clinton, who is speaking at Muhammad Ali's service will have a security team. Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's top adviser, who is speaking on behalf of the president, will also have a team.
“It's a large security undertaking,” Agent Ferretti said.
Muhammad Ali fans say they are not surprised by the big name speakers.
“I'm glad that they're coming,” Jerome Hickman Jr. said.
“It just shows how many people he really inspired outside of Louisville,” Dominique Dillard said.
As for the public at the memorial service, Agent Ferretti said there is no known security threat at the KFC Yum! Center. He added the FBI, Homeland Security and the Secret Service have been sharing intelligence.
“We've all been looking for any adverse intelligence and to date there's been nothing out there that we can see that we have to be worried about,” Agent Ferretti said.
That knowledge leaves Ali enthusiasts with nothing to worry about, except how to honor the legendary boxer and spread his message.
“Children need to know, if they believe in something and they want to do something in life, believe in themselves, have faith and go ahead and do it,” Theresa Davis said.
“It just keeps us inspired to do like whatever we want to do,” Dillard said.
“I'm just really into Ali -- his passion and commitment to social justice and change and his passion and spirit overall as a human being,” Josh Jennings said.
Jennings is also hoping to keep the boxing legend’s story alive with future generations including his seven-year-old son.
“My dad told me that Muhammad Ali's biggest fights were not inside the ring, they were outside the ring,” Emerson Jennings said.
The doors at the KFC Yum! Center open at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. The service is expected to start at 2 p.m.
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