Times Square could be the 'safest place in the world' on New Year's Eve
More than a million people are expected to cram into Times Square, and the NYPD isn't taking any chances. "New Year's Eve in New York City will be the safest place in the world to be," Chief James Waters, head of the counterterrorism unit, told the Associated Press.
As the 12,000-lb. crystal ball drops in Manhattan, here are the safety measures attendees can expect this December 31:
- A total of 6,000 officers will be in attendance at the Times Square event, many of them heavily armed with rifles.
- A unit of 500 specially trained counterterrorism officers formed in the weeks after the January Charlie Hebdo shooting will be on hand.
- Bomb-sniffing dogs and devices that detect abnormal radiation levels will expose hidden chemical and biological threats.
- Approximately 20,000 smartphones have been handed out to officers around the city to quickly respond to emergency threats.
- Attendants will monitors thousands of closed-circuit security cameras throughout lower Manhattan, midtown, and parts of the subway.
- Officers will be planted on the rooftops and in helicopters to get a bird's-eye view of the action.
- Bomb squad officers will conduct thorough sweeps of nearby hotels, parking garages, theaters, and construction sites.
- Each attendee will get screened twice before entering one of the 14 closed-in pens, where they will stay all night.
After the event concludes safely, another set of heroes - New York sanitation crews - will clean up the estimated 50 tons of waste, including party hats, cups, and approximately one ton of celebratory confetti.
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