TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan — More than two million revelers are expected to ring in 2018 on New Year's Eve in Times Square — and city officials say security measures will be unprecedented.
“New York City is one of the few places that can host an event like this and provide this level of security. It make us very proud but we’re also quite aware of the amount of work that has to go into it," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
What we’ve come to expect as normal security measures will be in place such as concrete and sand trucks. There will be an extra police presence both plainclothes and uniformed officers.
Added measures include extra sniper teams and Vapor Wake dogs — a new breed of bomb-sniffing dogs trained to pick up the moving scent of explosives.
“The difference between this year and last year were putting out more vapor dogs and and we’re also putting out more observation teams with counter sniper capability,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.
Police officers will also be stationed at every hotel in the Times Square area.
Crosstown traffic will be shut down starting at 11 a.m. from 37th to 59th streets between Sixth and Eighth Avenues.
There are 125 garages in and around Times Square — and all will not only be closed, but will also be sealed. No vehicles allowed in or out.
“I urge anyone coming into the city to leave their cars at home,” O’Neill said.
For spectators, there are only 12 access points. Revelers will have to go through security at an access point and then face a second screening before getting into the viewing area.
The city has been the target of two terror attacks in six weeks — the one on the West Side Highway on Halloween Day and then the incident inside a subway tunnel under Port Authority on Dec. 11.
There are other events going on throughout the city. For instance, the Central Park run and the New Year’s Eve celebration in Coney Island. There will a strong NYPD presence at other events as well. Also, expect security checks at transit hubs throughout the city.