NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is putting the finishing touches on its plan to protect residents and businesses from possible protests related to next week’s election.
The plan includes specific advice for shops and restaurants in Midtown, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Friday.
There’s a security guard positioned at the door of the Nike Store on Fifth Avenue. Other stores along the city’s posh shopping corridor are also hiring private security or off-duty cops.
This comes as the city prepares for the possibility of protests and demonstrations on and around Election Day.
They are hoping to avoid a repeat of the violence and looting that occurred during anti-police protests several months ago.
On the advice of the NYPD, most, but not all, of Fifth Avenue merchants are not boarding up their windows.
Some stores in SoHo, that were hard hit last time, aren’t taking any chances.
The merchants say they’re following sensible advice from police.
“Keep your lights on in the store. Do not have merchandise out in your store. Make sure that your garbage is put out as late as possible,” said Jerome Barth of the Fifth Avenue Association.
Trash cans along the Fifth Avenue corridor will also be removed so they can’t be used as projectiles, but Barth says merchants don’t expect the kind of attacks that stunned the city in late May and early June.
“The NYPD is much more prepared this time around. People know what to expect,” Barth said.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the NYPD did make some requests for restaurants in Midtown to remove outdoor furniture to clear the sidewalks.
“The reason for that was because it’s impeding pedestrian traffic. If we expect a large protest, it’s impeding the right of protesters to protest and it’s forcing people onto the streets,” Shea said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said violence will not be tolerated.
“We are going to be prepared for a lot of protests, prolonged protests. Potentially different protest groups confronting each other,” de Blasio said. “But, if anything turns out violent, we’re going to stop that immediately.”
The NYPD has its eye on a number of protests that have been planned starting Monday.
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