If you're contemplating spending New Year's Eve in Times Square, you can find solace in the fact that it'll be the world's safest place to be on New Year's Eve.
Of course, it makes sense to be worried. We're still not over the shootings in Paris from November, and we have special reason to be in the United States: we have a horrifying mass shooting epidemic here.
It didn't help when ISIS released a propaganda video threatening NYC, either.
Plus, obviously, the trauma of September 11th, 2001 is so deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness. We always get extremely nervous whenever large crowds congregate in New York City.
Still, Time alleviated our stress with the announcement that on New Year's Eve, Times Square will be heavily secured by thousands of New York Police Department officers, including a new specialized counterterrorism unit.
"Leave the worrying to the NYPD. People should feel safest this New Year's Eve because we're there," said James O'Neill, the chief of the new counterterrorism unit.
We were also comforted by the words of our hardass Police Commissioner William Bratton. Yeah, the same guy who called ISIS' propaganda a "mish-mosh of old footage."
Bratton said there were no credible threats aimed at the city before the holiday.
There is one bummer: officials did admit there's a limit to what they can do to ensure security outside the Bow Tie, the area between 42nd and 47th Streets between Broadway and 7th Avenue that will be tightly policed.
In the rest of the city, the NYPD is focusing on the reactionary rather than preventative measures.
"The ability to protect everything all the time everywhere is not possible in any venue anywhere in the world," Bratton said, on Tuesday at a news conference in Times Square.
There will be about a million people partying in Times Square on New Year's Eve, and plenty of high profile musical performances.
billbratton A United Call To Take Care of Our 9/11 Heroes We lost 23 officers that day, and nearly five times as many since. It's "nearly” because the numbers change, sometimes daily. We're STILL losing people. For these first responders, September 11th has never really ended. These men and women went in when others ran out, and they stayed to work what became the largest crime scene in American history. They did it to take care of us, and we owe it to ourselves—as a nation—to take care of them. The Zadroga Bill is named after NYPD Police Officer James Zadroga. Officer Zadroga died from an illness caused by his participation in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero.
Revelers who enter the Times Square celebration at one of the 14 official access points will be screened with hand-held metal detectors twice; once when they enter the access points, and another when they enter the pens from which they'll watch the show.
Yes, there will be pens holding Times Square revelers in place. We told you the area would be highly policed.
"On New Year's Eve, the department will be out in force," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "There will be a tremendous number of officers you will see and many you won't see."
How many officers, you're wondering? De Blasio really did mean tremendous. There will be nearly 6,000 officers assigned to Times Square. This includes heavily armed counterterrorism teams, and bomb-sniffing dogs.
There will also be rooftop patrols and NYPD helicopters, and plainclothes officers blending in with the partiers.
"New Year's Eve in New York City will be the safest place in the world to be," said Chief James Waters.
We really hope so because it's no secret that the bridge-and-tunnel crowd, plus plenty of people from tons of other suburbs, will be streaming into NYC to celebrate the New Year.
We hope you're reassured, NYC. We think we'll take O'Neill up on his offer to let the NYPD do all the worrying. It's just about partying time.
Check out 7 Best Places to Watch NYE Fireworks in NYC.[via Time] [Feature Image Courtesy Daily Mail]