NYPD issues security measures for New Year's Eve in Times Square originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
As 2019 comes to a close, police have increased security measures to ensure that thousands of revelers stay safe while enjoying the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square.
The New York City Police Department announced Friday that along with local, state and federal law enforcement partners, they will roll out a "comprehensive overlay of police officers and other security measures to ensure the safety of the celebrators."
"The experience of ringing in the New Year in New York City is remarkable, and I commend the thousands of members of the NYPD for their own remarkable undertaking in ensuring the safety of those celebrating," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement.
The NYPD started planning for New Year’s Eve at the end of last year’s celebration, & NYC is going to have one of the most well-policed, best-protected celebrations anywhere in the world.
As always, we want everyone to stay vigilant: If you see something, say something. pic.twitter.com/EbhnfcxWA7— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) December 27, 2019
"Thousands of officers, both uniformed and plainclothes, heavy weapons teams from ESU, CRC, and SRG, along with the Technical Assistance & Response Unit, Canine Teams, the Mounted Unit, the Aviation Unit, and the Harbor Unit will be on hand to ensure the safety of the celebrators," the NYPD said in a press release.
Attendees will be screened and are strictly prohibited from bringing backpacks, large bags, umbrellas, or alcoholic beverages. Additionally, any property that is not allowed may not be abandoned at checkpoints.
Officers will direct attendees to gather in separate viewing pens beginning at approximately 11 a.m. As the day and evening progresses, the NYPD will oversee attendees between Broadway and 7th Avenue as they sprawl between 43rd Street to Central Park South.
If any attendees leave the viewing area before the ball drops, those individuals will not be able to regain entry, police said.
Traffic will be closed for all vehicles in Times Square beginning at 4 a.m. on Tuesday Dec. 31.
The NYPD has also urged people to "avoid all cross-town streets from 33rd to 59th Streets, as well as Sixth and Eighth Avenues."
Due to expected heavy traffic delays and parking restrictions, the NYPD strongly encouraged the use of mass transit.
As in years past, the NYPD also asked that anyone who sees suspicious activity to alert a police officer or call 911. The NYPD’s terrorism hotline is 888-NYC-SAFE.
This year people can stay up to date with alerts and notifications about weather, road closures, traffic delays and more by texting NEWYEARSEVE to 692692 (NYCNYC).
"We are thrilled to partner once more with Times Square Alliance to keep spectators informed at the click of a button," NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell said. "We are making it easy for anyone to receive real-time information about this year's event. As we celebrate the New Year together, I want to wish everyone a safe and prosperous 2020."
Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said the system implemented by NYC Emergency Management has made it easier to get real-time information out quickly to keep the event safe.