NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The men and women in blue and some others undercover will be out in full force this Saturday night in and around Times Square.
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“There will be several thousand police officers involved,” said New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly.
The department will be deploying all of its 1,500 rookie officers from the latest academy class. Kelly says they’ll be getting help from federal agencies and the New Jersey State Police so that 2012 gets off to a good start.
“We put in what we call now our counter terrorism overlay. We use dogs both in our subway systems and [in] the area where most people congregate,” said Kelly.
The NYPD will be taking extra security measures including the use of metal and radiation detectors, bag searchers, and security cameras which provide live feeds to command centers in lower Manhattan and elsewhere.
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Times Square isn’t the only place in the five boroughs drawing large crowds. They’ll also be fireworks on Liberty Island and Prospect Park and a midnight run in Central Park.
Kelly said he’s also concerned about a New Year’s Eve tradition — the celebratory gun shot. He’s encouraging people to find a safer way to ring in the new year. Remember, what goes up must come down, and a bullet falling back to earth can seriously hurt someone.
7th Avenue and Broadway between 41st Street and 59th Streets, inclusive of all cross streets will begin to close at approximately 3 p.m. Saturday.
The Times Square area will remain closed until approximately 3 a.m. Sunday.
The MTA says riders heading to Times Square for the celebration should avoid using the Times Square-42nd Street complex, since they may not be allowed to exit onto the street.
In addition, the northbound platform at 50th Street 1 and both north and southbound platforms at 49th Street RN will be closed from 7 p.m. until after midnight. Riders are urged to exit at stations at 57th or 59th Streets instead and walk to Times Square.
Buses are not recommended for traveling to Times Square because of the numerous street closures in the area.
Regular overnight bus service will resume as streets reopen after midnight. Following the celebration, trains on lines in and around Times Square will run every 8 to 12 minutes until approximately 3 a.m.
The 42nd Street shuttle S will operate all night.
On New Year’s Day, subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule with longer waits on some bus routes.
On Monday, subways will run on a Saturday schedule and MTA and NYC Transit buses will operate on a Sunday schedule.
Would you ever go to Times Square for New Year’s Eve? Sound off in the comments section below!