New York police to use drone for first time at New Year's Eve party

By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City police will use an aerial drone for the first time to monitor the crowds gathered in Times Square on Monday for the New Year's Eve ball-drop celebrations, officials said on Friday, adding there was no known threat to the night's festivities. The camera-carrying drone will be tethered to the roof of a building and will not fly directly over the hundreds of thousands of revellers in the area, but it will add an additional vantage-point alongside the 1,225 fixed video cameras that police will deploy. Using counter-drone technology, the New York Police Department will also work with federal agents to thwart any civilians tempted to fly their own drones through Manhattan's canyons as 2019 dawns.

Reuters December 29, 2018 03:05:19 IST
New York police to use drone for first time at New Year's Eve party

New York police to use drone for first time at New Years Eve party

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City police will use an aerial drone for the first time to monitor the crowds gathered in Times Square on Monday for the New Year's Eve ball-drop celebrations, officials said on Friday, adding there was no known threat to the night's festivities.

The camera-carrying drone will be tethered to the roof of a building and will not fly directly over the hundreds of thousands of revellers in the area, but it will add an additional vantage-point alongside the 1,225 fixed video cameras that police will deploy.

Using counter-drone technology, the New York Police Department will also work with federal agents to thwart any civilians tempted to fly their own drones through Manhattan's canyons as 2019 dawns.

"Don't fly a drone that night," Police Commissioner James O'Neill told reporters at a news conference. "If you fly one, there's a good chance you're going to end up getting arrested."

Rogue drone operators recently crippled London's Gatwick Airport for three days by sending the flying machines repeatedly into the airfield.

The security plan includes closing off the blocks around Times Square to traffic and deploying thousands of police officers, uniformed and plainclothed, in the crossroads and the surrounding streets.

Sharpshooters will take up positions on rooftops, and officers with long guns will stand guard at pedestrian checkpoints. Revellers will be screened before being admitted into security corrals for viewing the ball drop. Large bags and lawn chairs are banned.

Crews have even sealed shut manholes to prevent the sewers being used as a means of bypassing the checkpoints.

Police have also taken special precautions at high-rise hotels around Times Square, aiming to prevent any would-be attacker from using a hotel room as a sniper's nest.

In October 2017, a man spent days amassing an arsenal in a hotel suite in Las Vegas before breaking a window and shooting into a crowd at a music festival, killing 58 people.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.