Partygoers, Organizers & Police Ready For New Year’s Eve

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With the ball ready to drop and the champagne corks ready to pop, Friday night’s celebration in Times Square to ring in the New Year will be a huge party.

As nearly a million revelers cram into the streets to mark the event, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is promising a safe celebration with no threats, but lots of security, 1010 WINS’ Senior Correspondent Stan Brooks reported.

GUIDES: Celebrating New Year’s Eve In Times Square | Throw Your Own NYC New Year’s Eve Party

“Anytime a large number of people come together, we put in our counterterrorism overlay. We’ll have several thousand police officers deployed,” Kelly said.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

The New Year’s Eve ball –which is 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11,875 pounds, features 2,688 crystal triangles and illuminated by 32,256 LED lights passed three test runs on Thursday.

Organizer Jeff Straus told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck why he believes so many people continue to flock to Times Square year after year.

1010 WINS Reporter Glenn Schuck watches a test run of the ball drop.

“When you come here, the energy is something that you’ve never experience before and it’s that feeling of community,” Straus said.

“I’ve been in New York City for a long time, but never been here for New Year’s, so I’m excited about it,” Manalapan resident Julio Reyes told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Promoters said the ball was capable of producing a pallet of 16 million colors, WCBS 880’s Steve Knight reported.

WCBS 880 Reporter Steve Knight reports on the facts and figures of the special countdown ball.

“I don’t know the actual number of kilowatts, but this ball with the new LEDs is twice as bright as the ball that we had back in 2008,” Straus said.

Revelers were already crowding into Times Square and looking ahead to the start of the New Year. But is Times Square ready for them?

For years, the celebration has been a relatively crime-free event.

That’s due mostly to what the partygoers don’t necessarily notice: Police blanketing the area, working from a security plan specifically tailored for the night.

The NYPD is bucking up its efforts and that includes: helicopters in the sky, patrol boats on the water and thousands of police officers on the streets.

Crews were busy Thursday setting up barricades, sealing manholes and collecting newspaper boxes.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is confident that Kelly and company will keep things in order.

“I expect to have a great time. There are rules. No backpacks, no alcohol, you gotta behave,” Bloomberg said. The 20-inch snowstorm that left the streets far from Times Square unplowed will be a memory to the crowd. Crews have removed the large drifts and warm temperatures are helping to melt what’s left.

“They did a good job over here,” Congers, New York resident Patrick McHugh said. “Elsewhere, there’s snow everywhere.”

“It’s exciting and it’s really bright, and, well, there’s a lot of really famous people coming,” Ally McHugh said.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Stan Brooks In Memoriam
  • aldous huxley

    Be cautious everyone. The Mayor’s message is clear. Bloomberg ordered Kaiser Kelly to make sure not a single person gets out of line. The gloves are coming off after the way the people turned on the Mayor following the storm.

    Remember, these are not the friendly neighborhood police officers from the “Leave It To Baever” era. These are well armed soldiers in full body armor. Best to just keep your head lowered showing full compliance and submission to their authority. If you’ve never been struck by a police baton, it hurts like the devil and can cause permanent damage.

    All hail King Michael – we are sorry for ever questioning your leadership.

  • bob shakor

    wishing everyone a happy new year

  • Schmellma Arss

    Oh come all ye gullible and spend money in the city that consistently fails and faults its inhabitants.

  • Hornet Montana

    I like how your character could be a king of gnomes, or perhaps a pixelated techno demon, instead of what I take you mean to be the President (hence “leader”).

  • Flynn

    Here’s the problem with that plan, Delta — who is really getting punished?

    The police will be paid to be there regardless of how many show up.

    The cameras will still roll to show the ball drop for the rest of America.

    Meanwhile, any protest that keeps crowds away from Times Square will hurt the coffee shops, diners, tourist shops, etc that count on a nice uptick in sales that last night of the year.

    What kind of message can you send to Bloomberg? Not sure — if he was up for re-election, I’d say punish him that way.

  • DeltaForce

    Until all of the streets of NYC’s 5 boroughs are clear of snow, ice, bus stops shoveled for safe passage by riders waiting, urging all fellow New Yorkers to BOYCOTT tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

    This will send a message to the Mayor and this administration’s leadership what priorities are important for resident New Yorkers.

    Besides, do you want to walk 3 miles again to catch a bus, wait for the subway and jump over unshoveled street corners just to celebrate 2011 – neighbors are still having trouble getting to their doctor’s appointment, dialysis treatment, etc.

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