NEW YORK, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- In response to recent truck attacks in Germany and France, police in New York will employ sand trucks as physical barriers around Times Square as part of New Year's Eve security.
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said 65 heavy trucks loaded with sand will be deployed around Times Square to serve as physical impediments to prevent someone from trying to drive a large vehicle into the crowd in an effort to run down revelers. Similar attacks were staged in Nice, France and Berlin earlier this year at large public gatherings.
O'Neill said there are no specific threats against the world's largest New Year's Eve celebration. As many as 2 million spectators are expected to pack Times Square to watch the midnight ball drop.
In addition to the sand trucks, 100 marked police vehicles will also be deployed as physical impediments to protect the event, double the number used in previous years, O'Neill said. The department will also deploy 7,000 police to serve as security for the New Year's Eve celebration. The NYPD will also deploy helicopters to serve as aerial surveillance and revelers will be subjected to bag checks, as has been the case in past years.