With recent attacks in Germany and France, security measures for New Year’s Eve in Times Square, already incredibly stringent in years past, will become even more so. At a press conference this morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD laid out new rules for ball droppers convening in Times Square as early as 4 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Items now not permitted in Times Square: Alcohol (huh?), duffle bags, any backpacks, and umbrellas.
Additional crucial item not provided: public bathrooms.
This leaves one questioning why exactly anyone would want to be in Times Square for the ball drop, stone cold sober, possibly wet, bladders swollen, without the ability to bring reserve layers or food. The mayor had similar doubts: “I’m not quite sure why a million people want to stand in the freezing cold for long periods of time,” he said this morning.
The NYPD announced that it is expecting more than 2 million people in Times Square on Saturday, with over 7,000 officers on duty to provide security. In addition to the police, the city will be rolling out 65 sand and Sanitation trucks to surround Times Square, to prevent any trucks being used as a weapon, similar to recent terror attacks.
“We’ll use metal detectors to scan individuals entering the observation areas,” Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said during the press conference this morning. “We will also deploy our full compliment of explosive detecting K-9s, both at the event and throughout our transit system. Detailed personnel will sweep hotels, theaters and parking garages.”
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 29, 2016
If you somehow make it through security and have survived hours among the crush of sober and frozen ball droppers, you will be rewarded with a medley by Mariah Carey and a live performance of Danza Kuduro by Don Omar. Worth it? Might be!