Happy New Year! Ball Drops To Ring In 2016 With Festive Mood, Tight Security

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York rang in 2016 early Friday morning with joy and festivity – and under the watch of tight security.

About 1 million people crammed into the Crossroads of the World, brushing off security jitters to participate in the annual celebration.

As the glorious 11,875-pound Waterford crystal ball descended down a flagpole atop 1 Times Square, revelers counted down to 2016 before sharing hugs and their first kisses of the year under a blanket of confetti.

The evening also featured a party of musical acts — including Charlie Puth, Demi Lovato and Carrie Underwood.

Some 6,000 police officers were on hand throughout the night, including a new counterterrorism team and bomb sniffing dogs. Heavily-armed officers stood on nearly every corner as others with rifles and binoculars surveyed the crowd from rooftops above.

Everyone also had to go through layers of security and be checked with hand held magnetometers, CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported.

“Our biggest concern is obviously terrorism,” NYPD Sgt. Ed Mullins said late Thursday. “Most people come here to have a good time, but it takes one or two, you know, lunatics to disrupt that good time.”

PHOTOS: New Year’s 2016 In Times Square | New Year’s Celebrations Around The World

Meanwhile, the new NYPD operations center in downtown Manhattan monitored hundreds of camera feeds throughout the event, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

“The numbers of officers that will be there will be extraordinary and the preparation is extraordinary as well,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier this week.

Elsewhere in the world, concerns about terror threats altered or even canceled celebrations. In Brussels, the New Year’s Eve fireworks show was called off as Belgian prosecutors announced six people were detained in connection with a plot to attack the celebrations.

The planned fireworks display was also canceled in Paris.

And in Munich, police said there was “serious information” about an imminent attack coming Thursday night, and advised people to stay away from the city’s main train station and a second train station in the city’s Pasing neighborhood.

There were no credible threats in New York, but Bratton said the city was taking more precautions this year than in the past.

“We’re going full bore with everything, but to make sure it goes off safely, we’ve put a lot more security in place here,” Bratton said Thursday evening. “It’s the times we live in, but what we want people to do is come into Times Square, have a great time for themselves. This is where the world celebrates the New Year. You have events in Sydney and London elsewhere, but they celebrate it here.”

Revelers told CBS2 they were grateful for the work of the NYPD.

“Security has been great,” said Morgan Jameson of Virginia. “Thank you, NYPD, for the extra measures you’ve gone to this year. This is an awesome experience.”

With the crowds clearing out of Times Square after midnight struck, crews were moving in to clean up. Nearly 200 sanitation workers were set to hit the street – armed with mechanical sweepers, trucks, blowers, and hand brooms.

Times Square was to be spotless before the sun came up on New Year’s Day.

For New Year’s 2015, crews removed 48 tons of debris.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 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.)

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