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'World Events' Drive Extensive New York City Security Plan


A row of New York City police cars is parked along a street in Times Square, Dec. 29, 2016, in New York.

New York City officials said security for Saturday's New Year's Eve celebration will feature massive 20-ton (18-metric-ton) sanitation trucks weighted with an extra 15 tons (13.6 metric tons) of sand and 7,000 police officers.

The "blocker trucks" and other vehicles will be used to close off vehicular access to Times Square. The officials said though there have been no specific threats to the event, the measures were driven by other terror attacks across the world.

“As we formulated this year's plan, we paid close attention to world events and we learned from those events,” said Carlos Gomez, the NYPD's chief of patrol. During recent attacks in Berlin and Nice, France, terrorists used large trucks to drive into crowds, killing dozens.

More than 2 million people are expected to attend the annual ball drop countdown in Midtown Manhattan.

Times Square revelers, who are prohibited from carrying umbrellas and large bags, will be screened at two points: once when they approach the Crossroads of the World, and again when they enter one of the 65 pens that hold thousands of people each.

And, as in past years, officials have removed trash bins and mailboxes, sealed manhole covers and done sweeps of parking garages and hotels.

“We're going to have one of the most well-policed, best-protected events in one of the safest venues in the entire world given all the assets that we deploy here,” New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill said at a news conference Thursday.

Counterterrorism officers stand in front of a watch store in Times Square, Dec. 29, 2016, in New York, as they take shelter from the rain.
Counterterrorism officers stand in front of a watch store in Times Square, Dec. 29, 2016, in New York, as they take shelter from the rain.

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