NYPD promises unprecedented security for New Year's Eve ball drop

Glen Norman
December 31, 2017

As a public event at the Times Square, the New Year's festivities and ball drop are broadcast on television to be watched worldwide. That was the message from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in the wake of an attempted pipe bomb attack earlier this month.

People heading to Times Square in New York City for the ball drop for New Year's Eve will see even more police on patrol.

O'Neill said there would be more bomb-sniffing dogs, more counter-sniper teams and more officers on the ground than previous year, but declined to set a number.

"People will be safe, and they should feel safe, too", NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said at police headquarters in lower Manhattan.

The New York Police Department and security agencies have geared up in a big way to ward off any violent incident at the Times Square this time.

What we've come to expect as normal security measures will be in place such as concrete and sand trucks.

Crosstown traffic will be shut down starting at 11 a.m. from 37th to 59th streets between Sixth and Eighth Avenues.

Aside from being aware of safety on New Year's Eve in Times Square, though, those who are heading to NYC for the ball drop should also keep in mind that it is going to be freezing this year on December 31. No vehicles allowed in or out.

People who want to see the New Year's Eve musical acts and other entertainment up close in Times Square will have to pass by dogs trained to detect explosives and heavily armed officers, go through a magnetometer to check for weapons, have their bags inspected, and then repeat all those steps a second time.

"I urge anyone coming into the city to leave their cars at home", O'Neill said.

Partygoers entering that secure zone will be screened at a dozen access points where they will encounter metal detectors, the vapour wake dogs and officers with portable radiation detectors.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says security will also be tight at the Phish concert at Madison Square Garden, as well as across the city and the region.

Now, law enforcement is gearing up for the city's famed New Year celebrations.

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