Thirty-two of the nation’s governors will gather in Iowa’s capitol this weekend and local law enforcement has laid emergency plans. State troopers will be assigned to every governor who comes to the meeting to provide security and to serve as a driver. An Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesman says the troopers know their way around Des Moines and should some emergency arise, they know the best and safest routes. The Polk County Sheriff’s office and Des Moines Police have also been involved in laying security plans for the four-day-long meeting that starts Friday. “Obviously this is a large event and we take every precaution,” says Sergeant Todd Dykstra, a spokesman for Des Moines Police. The police will not shut down any city streets for the governors’ events. Dykstra says some streets will be cut down to just one-lane in each direction, but he says that shouldn’t impede anybody from getting around the capital city this weekend. The visiting governors will go an Iowa Cubs ballgame, hear REO Speedwagon during a mini-fair on the Iowa State Fairgrounds, and pay visits to the Science Center of Iowa, the statehouse and Terrace Hill, the governor’s mansion. But the public will not be able to mingle among the 32 governors. Access to events is restricted to those with security clearance. A few of the governors have already arrived. New York Governor George Pataki and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are hosting a private luncheon today (Friday) for Republicans in the second-tallest building in downtown Des Moines, the Ruan Center. Virginia Governor Mark Warner, a Democrat, is holding a noon-time luncheon in the tallest building in downtown Des Moines, Principal’s 801 Grand.
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