The more than 1 million people expected to ring in 2017 in Times Square will see more security measures than ever before, city officials announced at a news conference Thursday.
“On New Year’s Eve, you will see extraordinary assets deployed by the NYPD,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said there are “no direct concerns related to terrorism” near the Times Square celebration or its surrounding area. “People will be safe this New Year’s Eve,” he added.
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In addition to nearly 7,000 uniformed and plainclothes officers, there will be K-9 patrols and surveillance crews on rooftops, in helicopters and in boats. Additionally, the NYPD’s Special Operations Division will have “highly visible heavy weapons” and more than 100 blocker vehicles. Sixty-five sand trucks will act as barriers around the celebration.
That setup will be similar to the one found near Trump Tower to protect President-elect Donald Trump, and is meant to deter events like the deadly truck attacks in Berlin on Dec. 19 and in Nice, France, on July 14.
New street closures will include 57th Street between 6th and 8th avenues, which will close early Saturday afternoon. As holding pens for revelers fill up, 59th Street from 6th to 8th avenues will also close. There will be 65 pens, each with a capacity of3,000 people, from Times Square to 59th Street.
Last year, there were 15 arrests made during the New Year’s Eve celebration, with most of them being unlicensed vendors, officials said.
And authorities offered a friendly reminder that no alcohol, backpacks, duffle bags and umbrellas are allowed in Times Square during the celebration.