Security high for Times Square ball drop

Dec. 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Security will be tight in New York's Times Square this weekend as crowds fill the streets to welcome the New Year, police officials said.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he plans to deploy thousands of resources, including 35 mounted horses, bomb-sniffing dogs, and uniformed as well as plainclothes officers on Saturday, CNN reported.

"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," the commissioner said.

Revelers must pass through a security checkpoint system before entering Times Square, authorities said. Checkpoints will be positioned at each of the 16 entrances to the site, and cameras and helicopters will blanket the square as celebrants watch the glitzy ball drop to signal the new year.

The Joint Operations Center "will be activated, where we have representatives from units throughout the department, and federal, state and local agencies," Kelly said, "so you can get face-to-face coordination, which is a very important aspect of what we do."

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to watch the ball drop, Times Square's official Web site said.

"I think it's something you have to do at least once," Kelly said. "It's sort of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It's a happy event. It's an exciting event."

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