NY ramps up security for Times Square bash

2011-12-31 08:01

New York New York City police are gearing up for a massive security operation as the Big Apple prepares to usher in the New Year with a party expected to attract over one million revellers to Times Square.

Thousands of police officers, including 1 550 newly minted graduates of the police academy, will take part in an operation New York police commissioner Ray Kelly said is the "biggest" of the year for the force.

"Our helicopters will be up in the air and checking the 200-block area around Times Square," Kelly told the CNN television network on Friday.

"Everyone that enters the area will have to go through a magnetometry check."

Horse-mounted police officers, bomb-sniffing dogs and police patrol boats are also part of a security deployment to ensure New Year's Eve passes off without a hitch.

"We have heavy weapons response teams that are in, you know, appropriate locations," Kelly said.

Pop diva Lady Gaga, tenor Placido Domingo and rock veterans Chuck Berry and Patti Smith are among the star-studded lineup ringing in the New Year in Times Square, where a crystal ball will drop at the stroke of midnight.

Kelly urged partygoers to alert police if they see anything suspicious and not to bring alcohol or backpacks to Times Square.

"Look at your world or whatever activity you're engaged in through the prism of September 11," 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 said he looks forward to New Year's Day.

"It's a good feeling when it's over," he said. "It is a party, but, for us, it's a job, too.

"When it's over, it's sort of a sigh of relief."

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