CoronaVirus

NYPD unveils security plans for New Year’s Eve

NEW YORK (WABC) — New Year’s Eve in Times Square is happening this year without a crowd due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, that doesn’t mean there won’t still be tight security as NYPD officials unveiled their plans for the holiday Wednesday.

“My message to those ringing in the New Year’s: Please, stay at home,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.

NYPD announced there will be no spectators allowed in Times Square, no public fireworks in Coney Island and no midnight run in Central Park.

“This year, everyone will have to watch the Times Square ball drop virtually,” Monahan said.

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The only spectators that will be seen at Times Square are the cast members in part of the production, whom have all been prescreened for the virus.

As far as street closures, beginning at midnight on Thursday, portions of the area around Times Square will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Locations:

– Area bounded by West 45th Street, on the South
– West 49th Street on the North
– 6th Avenue, on the East
– 8th Avenue on the West

Beginning at approximately 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, the perimeter around Times Square will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Locations:

– Area bounded by West 41st Street, on the South
– West 49th Street on the North
– 6th Avenue, on the East
– 8th Avenue on the West

Officials strongly advise people to use public transportation. On-street parking will be extremely limited in the Midtown area.

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The department will continue its drunken driving enforcement on New Year’s Eve through DWI patrols and checkpoints throughout the city.

The NYPD will also have officers posted in Times Square and subways. A heavy weapons team and counter terrorism squad will also be present.

“At this time, there is not active, credible or specific threat against the celebration,” Chief of Counterterrorism Martine Materasso said. “Due to the iconic status of it, we must always treat it as a potential target. We are very aware of recent events, particularly the vehicle explosion in downtown Nashville on Christmas day. As always, we take a close look at attacks such as this in the U.S., as well as around the world, which includes reporting from our oversees posts. This intelligence helps devise our counterterrorism overlay for this event.”

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The Counter Terrorism Bureau has already implemented some security measures such as staging concrete barriers, conducting pre-sweeps of parking garages and similar locations throughout the frozen zone. Officers will also secure entry-point screening for cast and production.

“This will be a multi layered process at designated locations that include magnetometer screening and explosive detection screen teams,” Materasso said.

Other assets they will be deploying at the inner and outer perimeter of the event include bomb squad and critical response commands explosive detection canines, drone detection teams, blocker vehicles and DOT sand trucks.

“As a reminder, it is prohibited to fly a drone in the confines of NYC, including at this event,” Materasso said.

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