Times Square Security Tightened Ahead of New Year's Celebration


Officials charged with security are keenly aware of both last year's attempted Christmas airplane bomb attempt, and last spring's attempted Times Square bombing. They are deeply concerned that a stray backpack or plastic bottle containing a bomb, or bomb ingredients, could be slipped inside the police lines.

To keep partygoers safe, authorities have issued their annual reminders:

Backpacks and large bags are prohibited.

Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Property may not be abandoned at checkpoints.

Attendees who leave before the ball drops will not be able to gain entry to their original viewing area.

To enforce these rules and monitor for suspicious activity, there will be thousands of uniformed and plainclothes officers assigned to security Friday night, including officers armed with radiation detectors and others handling bomb sniffing dogs. Snipers and heavy weapons teams will also be on hand.

Security Ready for New York New Year's Eve

Outside of Times Square, special roving units will have citywide duty, ready to move to any other location deemed in need of a critical response. And inside of the frozen zone there will also be "flying squads" of detectives and specialists ready to swoop in on any suspected terrorist, nutcase, or common criminal.

In years past, there have been false alarms, including a threat passed on by Canadian authorities to the FBI that poison gas was hidden inside the pyrotechnics that would help ring in the New Year when they burst from the roof of Number One Times Square.

Never mind that fireworks 395 feet above street level would make a lousy mechanism for dispersing gas; a team of New York City cops climbed up, took samples, determined there was no threat and the revelries went on.

As the city slept in on Jan. 1, 2010, more than 150 members of the Dept. of Sanitation swept up an estimated 46.96 tons of confetti and debris in just a few hours. In 2009 officials estimated that cleanup cost was $54,000.

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