NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The clock is ticking nearer to midnight, and other people in Occasions Sq. are on the brink of ring within the new yr.
Police informed CBS2’s Ali Bauman as of seven:55 p.m., pens in Occasions Sq. have been crammed between 43rd and 53rd streets. A crowd estimate was not instantly obtainable. However the NYPD was anticipating about 2 million individuals.
The revelers flocked into Occasions Sq. in droves for the world well-known New Yr’s Eve ball drop. The annual occasion is an enormous safety problem for regulation enforcement, and this yr’s frigid temperatures are positive to make issues extra demanding for officers and guests alike.
Nonetheless, that didn’t cease the large crowd from popping out Sunday night time to observe the long-lasting ball drop. Worldwide, greater than a billion individuals will ring in 2018 with their eyes glued to the opulent crystal ball because it drops into the gang of revelers packed into the crossroads of the world.
Individuals needed to line up for hours forward of the large occasion simply to get in and wait on what’s anticipated to be one of many coldest days of the yr, with temperatures nicely under freezing anticipated at midnight.
Hundreds of NYPD officers are on patrol, and police Commissioner James O’Neill stated the bitter chilly does create extra obstacles.
“It does current some challenges, however as you undergo the checkpoints, it’s going to be a lot of cops there on the nook in the midst of the block — and whenever you come into the pens too,” O’Neill stated.
Officers urged these courageous sufficient to face the arctic blast to cowl each inch of uncovered pores and skin. Additionally, no umbrellas or backpacks are allowed — in case you had them, officers stated you’d be turned away.
No alcohol was allowed in, and consuming beforehand was discouraged as a result of it causes the physique to lose warmth extra shortly.
One factor partygoers can depend on is elevated safety. The NYPD says Occasions Sq. would be the “most secure place on the planet” on New Yr’s Eve.
The division has been planning for Sunday’s revelry for your complete yr, and has additionally made changes after current terror assaults within the metropolis. There can be groups of snipers, bag inspecting officers, and vapor wake canine — capable of detect airborne explosive particles.
“Each lodge on this space is roofed by uniformed officers working hand-in-hand with the lodge safety,” stated NYPD Chief of Patrol Terry Monahan. “We’ve remark posts throughout overlaying the world on excessive floor with counter sniper capabilities.”
Plus, individuals will see extra metallic detectors and barricades than ever earlier than.
“There are some additional barricades to stop any sort of vehicular intrusions,” Occasions Sq. Alliance President Tim Tompkins stated, including authorities have added additional safety inside lodges and undercover officers on patrol all through the occasion.
Whereas officers had their eyes on the gang, revelers watched the long-lasting crystal ball rise into place. However that would solely distract from the painfully frigid air.
“I don’t assume I’m going to make it,” stated Enrique Campos of Cuba, who had a blanket. “Some woman, she simply walked out — she depart this for me.”
Newlyweds Jonathan and Heather Poriy of Denver have been considering heat ideas, like their Costa Rican honeymoon that ended Saturday.
“We have been 82 levels yesterday. Now we’re like 14,” Jonathan Poriy stated. “It’s loopy.”
A number of streets have been closed within the space. The safety zone might be roughly 22 streets lengthy and three avenues vast. Police advocate avoiding cross streets from 34th to 59th Streets.
Parking garages within the zone have been be closed, and subway service stopped in Occasions Sq. at 7 p.m.