The NYPD is promising more security than in years past, an increase in garage closures, street closures, and additional checkpoints.
Beginning at 11:00 a.m. on New Year's Eve, crosstown traffic will be shut from 37th to 59th Streets, Sixth to Eighth Avenues. The entire area will be sealed off with concrete, blocker cars and sand trucks. All 125 parking garages will be closed and sealed. Cars will not be allowed to come in or go out. A truck restriction is in place on Sixth and Eigth Avenues from 34th Street to to 59th Street.
Backpacks, large bags, and umbrellas have been banned from the Times Square festivities.
"There are 12 access points for spectators to come in. Each one will have vapor wake dogs assigned there, and there will be heavy weapons teams," Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan explained. "Once you go through there, you will proceed to the pens, you will again be screened a second time before you are allowed to enter the pens. There will be heavy weapons teams and dogs assigned throughout the entire viewing area. In addition, ESU will work hand in hand with FBI and Secret Service. We will have observation teams with counter sniper capabilities assigned throughout the entire viewing area."
Armed officers, as well as undercover police, will be strategically positioned in and around Times Square accounting for potential terror threats as well as mass shooting attempts like the one on a Las Vegas concert in October.
"The difference between this year and last year is we are putting out more vapor wake dogs; We are also putting out more observation teams with counter sniper capabilities; And we are increasing the size of the uniformed details too," O'Neill said.
Governor Cuomo's office says the State Emergency Operations Center will be activated on New Year's Eve and state agencies, including the New York State Police, National Guard, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are increasing security at high-profile locations in New York City, including airports, bridges, tunnels, and mass transit systems.
These measures are all precautionary. NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said there are no credible threats at this time.
"You will see a stronger police presence out there than we've seen, even than what we've seen in recent years. And thats prudent, given the terror events we have seen and studied around the world as well as the three incidents here in new york over the past 15 months, including the two attacks within six weeks on October 31 along the West Side Highway and on December 11 inside the subway passage at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue," O'Neill said.
More details from the governor's about the security measures being taken are below:
State Police & National Guard
The New York State Police have been on a heightened state of alert since before the start of the holiday season and will continue to have an increased presence at critical state infrastructure and transportation facilities. At the Governor's direction, the State Police is doubling the number of Troopers working at posts throughout the city, including at JFK and LaGuardia airports. This deployment includes additional canine teams and members of the Bomb Disposal and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Units. The National Guard will also deploy additional resources and increase surveillance of critical infrastructure including transportation hubs.
Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has been in contact with key local public safety officials in New York City including NYPD, Port Authority, and MTA. The New York State Emergency Operations Center will activate to Level 4, enhanced monitoring from 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve until 2 a.m. New Year's Day. The Division remains in a state of readiness and prepared to disseminate information to our public safety partners statewide as necessary.
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
The Port Authority has significantly increased its presence at all of the agency's bridge, tunnel, rail, bus terminals, World Trade, airports and other facilities following a recent attack. The Port Authority has also significantly increased the numbers of police officers, including long gun-carrying police officers, and deployed special tactical teams. Actions include increased patrols and checks of bags, buses, trucks, and trains at agency locations.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The MTA has also increased their patrols and surveillance in order to provide heightened protection at major rail hubs. The MTA Police Department has stepped up its uniformed and plainclothes presence in Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal as well as other major stations throughout the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road network. Police canine teams and units with heavy weapons will provide extra protection as well as a noticeable sign of increased security. Railroad customers will also see surge patrols, increased step-on/step-off patrols of trains, and random bag checks at various locations.
Behind the scenes, the MTA Police Department, MTA New York City Transit security and MTA Bridges and Tunnels Officers share intelligence information and coordinate their threat response with other police and security agencies to ensure a seamless web of protection throughout the region.
New York State Police and the New York National Guard members have been assigned to high-profile MTA locations for more than a year, and they are helping secure these locations as well as reassuring the public that the authorities are dedicated to ensuring their safety. The MTA closely monitors large public events that occur in or near its facilities and will provide heightened awareness of activities there.
The MTA works closely with the NYPD to secure New York's subways and buses, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels Officers are using a mix of visual and technological surveillance to ensure safety at its seven bridges and two tunnels in New York City.
"If You See Something, Say Something"
New Yorkers are reminded to stay alert to their surroundings, and to report any suspicious activity. Reports can be made to the Counter Terrorism Center at the New York State Intelligence Center via its terrorism tip line: 1-866-SAFENYS (1-866-723-3697); or by email: email@example.com