Safety and security concerns for Times Square NYE raise questions

New Year’s Eve security main focus for NYPD

By Khara Lewin, CNN
updated 1:16 AM EST, Fri December 30, 2011
Before event-goers enter Times Square they will have to pass through a comprehensive security checkpoint, New York authorities say.
Before event-goers enter Times Square they will have to pass through a comprehensive security checkpoint, New York authorities say.
New York (CNN) — Security in Times Square will be the priority for New York Police Department this weekend as crowds pack the streets to herald the New Year.

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.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s