New Year’s Eve security main focus for NYPD
NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told CNN Thursday that he plans to strategically deploy thousands of resources, including 35 mounted horses, explosives-sniffing dogs, and uniformed as well as plainclothes officers on Saturday.
Kelly said the precautions are essential to combating the serious terror threat the city continues face in a post-9/11 world.
COBRA teams to handle chemical, biological and radiological threats will be pre-deployed to key locations, according to the commissioner.
“We operate under the assumption that we’re at the top of the terrorist target list, and we’ve had 14 attempts at terrorist-type attacks.” Kelly said.
To that end, before event-goers enter Times Square they must pass through a comprehensive security checkpoint.
These checkpoints will be erected at each of the 16 entrances to Times Square and will include metal and radiation detectors as well as bag searches. Backpacks and alcohol will not be permitted.
Past the checkpoints, at least 500 cameras and numerous helicopters with infrared capacity will survey the 65 pens, constantly scanning for security threats and breaches, according Commissioner Kelly.
For Kelly, coordination will be crucial, so the Joint Operations Center “will be activated, where we have representatives from units throughout the department and federal, state and local agencies. So you can get face-to-face coordination, which is very important aspect of what we do.”
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to watch the ball drop, according to Times Square’s official website.
Kelly said that the department will seek to ensure the security and safety of the public so they can enjoy the festivities.
“I think it’s something you have to do at least once,” he said. “It’s sort of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s a happy event. It’s an exciting event.”