RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - The historic meeting between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage has law enforcement across the valley on high alert. "We are working with the secret service and other federal agencies, to ensure a successful trip," said Sergeant Harvey Reed from the Palm Springs police department. "To ensure the safety of the presidential detail and also to ensure the safety of those attending the event."
Safety for the spectators begins with road closures around the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, President Obama's home and office for the weekend. The closures go from Friday morning to Sunday night and include Bob Hope Drive between Gerald Ford and Kavenish. Also, Frank Sinatra Drive between Vista Del Sol and Morningside Drive. Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokesman Corporal Angel Ramos wants drivers to take their time. "We ask people to be very patient if they have to use these access roads, use alternative routes," said Ramos. "It's only going to be for a couple of days, this is a historic event."
An event beginning at the Palm Springs International Airport. The arrival of Air Force One will close Kirk Douglas Way off Ramon Friday through Monday, but people can use El Cielo. Airport executive director Tom Nolan promises no hiccups for travelers. "I can assure all passengers that it'll be a seamless transition," said Nolan. "There'll be business as normal, they don't have to worry about any delays with their flights."
Though this marks President Obama's first visit to the valley, it's not the first time our local agencies have stepped up to protect the Commander-in-Chief. "Our agency does have experience with high profile visits such as this, and we are confident that we are prepared and that it'll be a successful visit," said Reed.
A viewing area for spectators will be set up at the southeast corner of Bob Hope and Gerald Ford.