NYC Police Tightens Security for New Years Eve

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Times Square in New York has been on edge every year since 9/11, but especially this year with an attempted terrorist attack taking place there in May. 
    
Thousands of police will be deployed tonight to watch over the million or so people expected to crush into the area for the annual ball drop at midnight to ring in the New year.

There's no specific threat, but this is the first big public event in Times Square since convicted terrorist Faisal Shahzad tried to detonate a car bomb there May 1.

At least 500 new security cameras will be scrutinizing the crowd, along with police towers and a hi-tech command center.

"They're always looking for suspicious activity with people, suspicious behavior, people that are not cooperative with them, especially on New Year 's Eve," Ann Hayes, Investigative Management Group, said. "You would be cooperative if you were going to go, you're going to be cooperative. So they're always looking for that, they're looking for things that just don't seem right."

Hundreds of radiation detectors will be dispersed throughout the area, along with devices that can detect biological contaminants. Crowds will be shepherded into closely scrutinized pens where backpacks and big bags are banned.

New York's attitude is you can never be too cautious. Six terrorist plots to attack the city have now been foiled since 9/11, and it's well-known terrorists like to hit areas where they can kill as many people at once as possible.

"We have really been intensely watching New Year's Eve at Times Square, almost with an anticipation of something happening because it does have such  a high profile all over the world," Hayes said.

The city sets up 17 miles of barricades and numerous security entrance points hours before the event and has uniformed police standing every few yards across the entire Times Square area.

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Paul Strand

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As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.