December 31, 2011
Times Square and a surrounding 200 block area will resemble a prison this evening.
Revelers who plan to attend the celebration of the New Year will be subjected to a “magnetometry check” and have their bags searched. There will be “weapons response teams,” horse-mounted police officers, undercover cops, bomb-sniffing dogs and police patrol boats. The Joint Terrorist Task force will be on hand.
COBRA teams will handle chemical, biological and radiological threats and will be pre-deployed to key areas. Manhole covers are sealed, barricades are set up to pen in the revelers and at least 500 security cameras are in place to scan the crowds, CBS New York reports.
“Our helicopters will be up in the air and checking the 200-block area around Times Square,” said New York police commissioner Ray Kelly.
A Joint Operations Center “will be activated, where we have representatives from units throughout the department and federal, state and local agencies. So you can get face-to-face coordination, which is very important aspect of what we do,” he said.
“On New Year’s Eve if you see something suspicious, there should be a police officer pretty much within arm’s reach,” Kelly explained.
“Look at your world or whatever activity you’re engaged in through the prism of September 11.”
“We operate under the assumption that we’re at the top of the terrorist target list, and we’ve had 14 attempts at terrorist-type attacks.” Kelly told CNN.
Terrorists have not announced they plan to attack Times Square.
In Nevada, the military and cops will violate Posse Comitatus by working “in tandem,” according to the Las Vegas Sun. The troops will be gaining experience in securing areas, working with computer technology and maintaining communication, among other skills, according to the newspaper.
“You’ll see more uniformed personnel around town,” said Nevada National Guard Sgt. Mike Getten. New Year’s Eve is a convenient time for both the Guard and the local authorities to get acquainted, interact and practice working together, Getten said.
“Those heading to the Strip or downtown for New Year’s Eve are asked not to carry large backpacks or bags, and not to have metal or glass containers,” reports KTNV.
In Los Angeles, the police have used the holiday to set-up Fourth Amendment free zones in an effort to revenue enhance people who drink alcohol and drive. “The Valley Traffic Division of the LAPD is not saying where the checkpoints will be set up. The average cost for a first time D.U.I. arrest is approximately $10,000, this does not include costs if there are injuries or loss of life,” reports the Sherman Oaks Patch.