NYPD to Use Drones for Security During New Year’s Eve Ball Drop for First Time Ever
In an unprecedented security measure, the New York City Police Department is deploying drones to ensure the safety of those gathered in Times Square during the iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop.
The department will also be using bomb-sniffing dogs, deploying long guns, a counterterrorism unit, sealing manhole covers and radiation detectors.
“Thousands of police officers in plainclothes and in uniform will descend on Times Square on Tuesday to keep watch over the ball drop, beginning at 11 a.m. EST to guide attendees through to their viewing spots,” USA Today reports. “
In a statement, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, John Miller, said that Times Square will be the “safest place on Earth to celebrate the new year.”
“Times Square is probably going to be the safest place on the planet Earth on New Year’s Eve because nobody else puts that kind of effort into an event like this,” Miller said.
Drones were set to be used during the festivities last year, but were unable to be deployed due to the weather.
Last year, the department also monitored hotels around Times Square to prevent an attack from a hotel room similar to the Las Vegas shooting in 2017.
Backpacks, large bags, umbrellas, personal drones, and alcoholic beverages are prohibited from the celebration, according to a statement from the NYPD.
There will also be checkpoints where individuals will have to pass through a metal detector.