Revelers embrace 2016 in Times Square amid tight security

Updated: 2016-01-01 16:13


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Revelers embrace 2016 in Times Square amid tight security


Revelers kiss as they pose for a picture while laying on the confetti covered ground during New Year's celebrations in Times Square in the Manhattan borough of New York January 1, 2016.  [Photo/Agencies]


Thursday night's celebration featured more security than in previous years. The NYPD has imposed tighter restrictions at the entry point, double-screening every spectator as they enter the Square.

As an precaution measure, heavily armed personnel were deployed on metro trains heading for the Times Square.

On Tuesday, to assuage public concerns about the security, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference in Times Square that the NYPD would be out in force on New Year's Eve.

"There will be a tremendous number of officers who you will see. There will be many officers you won't see," he said.

Meanwhile, the city for the first time used the 500-plus member Critical Response Command, a unit specifically trained to detect and respond to attack plots, the mayor said.

"This is the first time we've had such a full-time dedicated force in such a number in this city, and it is going to make a big difference," he said.

James Waters, who is in charge of counter-terrorism operations for the NYPD, said: "We are very very confident that on New Year's Eve New York City will be the safest place in the world to be."

On Thursday, New York canceled its firework celebration for this year so that more police could be deployed on patrol.

The announcement came after a Rochester man accused of being an Islamic State sympathizer was arrested Wednesday on charges of plotting a New Year's Eve attack.