By Lori Chung New York City |
For the thousands of people expected to ring in the New Year in Times Square, police are hoping their security plan will make visitors feel safe. For some, it seems to be working.
“I saw a lot of police [and] security around so I think it’s very safe,” said one pedestrian enjoying the Times Square festivities on Sunday night.
“I think it’s very good, the security here, for me and my family,” said another.
Many of the barricades were already in place on Sunday night when crowds flocked to watch crews go through test runs for the big celebration. Last night, however, there was only a fraction of the number of revelers who police will work to protect on New Year’s Eve.
Officials say there will be some 7,000 police officers on duty, including counter-terrorism officers and bomb-sniffing dogs. Not to mention, there will be metal detectors and bag searches.
“We’ve had a plan we take off the shelf every year, but I have to say every year we take it off the shelf, there’s something new in it,” John Miller of the NYPD said on Friday at press conference.
So, what’s new in terms of police protection this year?
To bring in 2019 safely, police will deploy a drone to keep watch over the crowd. Most traffic will be closed between 5th and 9th Avenue from 34th street to 59th street.
And for most revelers, these beefed up security measures seem to be putting their minds at ease as they welcome in 2019.
“I feel like if it’s our time it’s our time, we got to enjoy it so, if something is going to happen it’s not something we can control,” said one woman in Times Square.
Although these added security measures don’t seem to be dampening very many people’s spirits, the weather just might. Forecasts indicate a wet finish to 2018 is in store.
Look for increasing clouds as the morning comes to an end and rain in the afternoon. Tonight, it will be wet with steady to heavy rain, windy, and rather mild for this time of year.