Times Square: The Place to Be

Don’t kid yourself — even more than spectacular light displays and confetti throwing, the logistics of crowd control might be the most essential element of a smoothly deployed NYE in Times Square.

In 2015, 6,000 NYPD officers were on hand to provide security for the highly public event. Amidst heightened security risks, officers are deployed on the streets and subways with radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs, while others monitor the action by helicopter or boat. Each participant passes through a two-stop security checkpoint, and from the roof, counter-terrorism agent snipers are poised for any scenario. As the NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neil remarked last year, concerned visitors should “Leave the worrying to the NYPD. People should feel safe this New Year’s Eve because we’re there.”

After the crowd is cleared out and the police helicopters have landed, the work begins for another subset of the population: the NYC maintenance crew. In 2015, it took seven hours for 178 workers, 23 mechanical sweepers, 25 collection trucks, and 38 leaf blowers to clear 48 tons of trash. But by morning, not a trace of the celebration remained — save for some stray confetti that had floated uptown.

With a celebration as widely viewed and publicized as NYE in Times Square, it’s crucial for everything to go smoothly. Just like any supply chain, event logistics have multiple moving parts, requiring seamless coordination and cooperation between all parties involved — from the NYPD to the confetti champions — in order to make sure the new year rolls in without a hitch.

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