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Times Square ball drop is NYC rookie cops’ first assignment

“You are now the protectors who will make a difference,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said as nearly 500 cops graduated from the Police Academy


NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell speaks during a news briefing on New Year’s Eve security in Times Square on Friday, Dec., 30, 2022, in Manhattan, New York.

Barry Williams/New York Daily News/TNS

By Rocco Parascandola
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Nearly 500 rookie cops graduated from the Police Academy on Friday and were given their first assignment: New Year’s Eve security as the ball drops in Times Square.

“You are now the protectors who will make a difference,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said as 477 officers gathered at Madison Square Garden. “Tomorrow night, as the clock ticks down and you are standing in uniform at the Crossroads of the World, know that this is your city.

“It relies on you.”

The rookies include 131 immigrants who come from 76 different countries and speak 25 different languages. One of the rookies speaks Twi, a dialect of Akhan, the language spoken by several million people in parts of Ghana.

In and around Times Square on Saturday, the graduates will backstop the now-typical counterterrorism plan the NYPD puts in place every year — scores of officers blending into the crowd in plainclothes, plus Bomb Squad cops, heavy-weapons teams, officers assigned to 29 area hotels and police dogs that can sniff out explosives, among other measures.

Chief of Intelligence and Counterterrorism Thomas Galati said that while there are no credible threats against the city, police will be online “monitoring all streams for any kind of threat” and will be watching more than 1,000 surveillance cameras for any signs of trouble.

Galati also said the 62 Sanitation Department trucks and 173 NYPD vehicles will serve as blockers at numerous intersections that will be closed to traffic, as will 200 blocks of cement.

Those who plan to be in Times Square for the ball drop can enter the area at only eight locations — on Sixth Ave. and also on Eighth Ave., at W. 38th, W. 49th, W. 52nd and W. 56th streets.

Rain is forecast, but umbrellas are prohibited, as are chairs, blankets, backpacks, large bags and alcohol.

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