NYPD adding drones, 1,200 cameras to New Year's Eve security

Counter-terrorism officers will also deploy counter-drone technology to protect against potential attacks


Syracuse Media Group

NEW YORK CITY — The NYPD is ramping up security for the city’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square with more than 1,200 cameras — some installed on high-flying drones — to protect the nearly 2 million expected revelers, police officials said Friday.

One of the high-tech gadgets will be tethered to the top of a building to prevent potential attacks on the wild party below, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference.

NYPD officers stand near revelers gathered on Times Square in New York on December 31, 2018. The NYPD will use drones and cameras for added security.
NYPD officers stand near revelers gathered on Times Square in New York on December 31, 2018. The NYPD will use drones and cameras for added security. (Photo/AP)

“This is the first time we’re going to be using it at a large-scale event,” he said. “It’s just going to give us an additional view of the crowd.”

Counter-terrorism cops will also deploy counter-drone technology to protect against attackers, he said.

“Don’t fly a drone that night… There’s no need to fly a drone,” O’Neill said. “And if you do fly one, there’s a good chance you’ll end up getting arrested.”

In total, police will use 1,225 security cameras — new portable ones among them — to monitor the crowd and keep it safe, officials said.

“We haven’t done that before. That’s going to give us a visual aid,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller.

He added, “If someone sees something suspicious, they know the investigators are there.”

On Friday, there were no credible threats directed at the ball-dropping bash or toward New York City in general, officials said.

But O’Neill warned, “If anyone sees something that doesn’t look right … we need to know about it.”

Police will also set up 235 vehicles to block areas where revelers gather in Times Square.

There will also be 50 canine teams trained to sniff out explosives.

Officers will also install more than 200 cement blocks in addition to metal bollards that already exist, according to the station.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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