New York prepares military-style occupation for New Year’s celebration in Times Square
30 December 2017
Police and other security forces will be deployed in record numbers for New York City’s traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square on Sunday night. According to New York Police Department (NYPD) officials, the number of uniformed police deployed in an around the Manhattan landmark will exceed last year’s 5,000.
City police, many decked out in full combat gear, will be augmented by state police and FBI personnel. Police on the ground will be supplemented by police snipers in surrounding high-rise buildings as well as bomb-sniffing “vapor wake dogs.” Officers will be patrolling hotels in advance of the ball drop.
There will be multiple check points through which those seeking to attend the event will have to pass and widespread checking of bags and other personal belongings of people in Times Square and at nearby subway stations and transit points. Attendees will be herded into 65 fenced-in “viewing pens” surrounded by phalanxes of heavily armed police.
A fleet of 65 large, sand-filled dump trucks, 100 blocker vehicles and other physical barriers will be used to create a fortress ring surrounding the venue, encompassing an area 22 city blocks long and 3 blocks wide. All 125 parking garages in the vicinity will be shut and sealed until Monday.
Huge throngs of revelers typically gather in the center of Manhattan for the annual event. The estimate for last year was two million. This year, in the wake of a number of recent terror attacks in New York and elsewhere, the police presence will be even greater than in previous years, turning Times Square into a veritable armed camp.
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