NYPD preparing for possible protests at Times Square – NBC New York


The NYPD is preparing to keep more than a million revelers safe in Times Square on New Year’s Eve with thousands of officers reporting for duty, along with the counterterrorism and aviation units.

Police leaders said they are monitoring social media and are prepared for possible demonstrations over the Israel-Hamas war.

“Those who want to peacefully protest, they have the right to do so, but you’re not going to do that at the expense of those peacefully bring in the new year,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

Officers are ready for any demonstrations no matter the size, police officials said at a news conference Friday.

“There’s a protest every day in New York City so there’s certainly going to be a protest on New Year’s Eve,” said NYPD Assistant Chief of Intelligence John Hart.

The NYPD said it will be expanding its security perimeter around Times Square with the only entry points to get in at 49th, 52nd, and 56th Streets at 6th and 8th Avenues.

“That gives us a buffer zone so we can move quickly if we have to like last year or gives us the space between protesters,” said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell.

Chell was referring to a machete attack against several law enforcement officers just before 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve last year.

“There are no specific threats to the city, but as we saw last year, you don’t have to have a specific threat to get a threat, and we’re ready to respond to that threat,” Adams said.

Drones and aviation units will be watching from the air.

Leshonda Wilson from the Bronx is excited to possibly bring her 9-year-old daughter and her mother to this year’s celebration.

“Once in a lifetime,” Wilson said. “I had the experience when i was younger seeing the ball drop, so I wanted to bring her.”

City officials are urging New Year’s revelers to take public transportation, but check with your transit system ahead of time since many will be running on modified weekend or special schedules.

Streets in and around Times Square will start to be closed at 4 a.m. Sunday with additional closures starting at 11 a.m.

“This is the safest big city in America,” Adams said.

Getty Images

Guests react as confetti falls during a New Year’s eve rehearsal in Times Square in New York on December 29, 2023. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)


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