The New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square will be one of the most well-policed, well-protected celebrations on the planet, authorities said, as an estimated 1.5 million people prepare to end the 2010s there.
“We call it our Super Bowl,” NYPD Counterterrorism Chief Martine Materasso told CBS News correspondent Mola Lenghi. “This is it; this is the big show; this is what we wait for all year long.”
Ever since last year’s ball drop, the police department has been preparing for this year’s decade-ending celebration. Describing the security, Materasso called it “multilayered.”
“You will go through numerous steps of screening, from magnetometers to explosive vapor canines,” she said, adding revelers will also see heavy weapons teams. The chief said nearly the entire department — thousands of officers, both in uniform and in plainclothes — will secure Times Square with forces on the ground and in the sky with the help of drones and helicopters.Questions over New Year’s Eve security in Manhattan have risen after Saturday night’s stabbing at a rabbi’s home just miles from New York City, which left five people wounded, as well as a recent string of anti-Semitic attacks in Brooklyn. The NYPD has ramped up patrols in Jewish neighborhoods.
But, New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said on “CBS This Morning” Monday that “there are no credible threats” on the New Year’s Eve celebration.
“You will be very safe in Times Square,” he said. Materasso echoed that sentiment, saying Times Square will be “the safest place on Earth.”