Sand trucks to secure Times Square on New Year’s Eve

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill say the Big Apple is ready to protect the expected two million New Year’s Eve celebrants. (Dec. 29)


NEW YORK — Dozens of sand trucks and “blocker” vehicles will be positioned around Times Square on New Year’s Eve to prevent terrorist truck attacks like the ones that killed nearly 100 people in Europe this year, New York City officials said Thursday.

Authorities say 65 20-ton Department of Sanitation trucks, weighted with an extra 15 tons of sand and another 100 New York Police Department vehicles will team with 7,000 officers to keep Times Square secure when an estimated 2 million people come to see the ball drop during the city’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration.

“People will be safe this New Year’s Eve because we’re there along with our law enforcement partners,” police Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference in Manhattan. “We’re going to have one of the most well-policed, best protected events at one of the safest events in the entire world.”

New York police are not aware of any threats directed at the New Year’s Eve celebration, O’Neill said.

“At this time, we have no direct concerns related to terrorism, to Times Square specifically or New Year’s Eve in general,” the commissioner said.

Eighty-six people were killed in July when a truck plowed its way through Bastille Day revelers in Nice, France. Another 12 were killed this month in a Christmas market truck attack in Berlin.

Those attending Saturday night’s celebration will be directed into 65 pens that hold 3,000 people each and stretch from Times Square to 59th Street.

They will go through a series of metal and radiation detectors….