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Garbage dump truck

Garbage Truck / January 8, 2021

new years times square policeA row of New York City police cars is parked along a street in Times Square, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, in New York. The department is once again saying it is up to protecting the huge crowds that will gather in and around Times Square for New York City's massive New Year's Eve celebration.

Massive dump trucks filled with sand will line the streets surrounding New Year's Eve celebrations in New York City this weekend. The 20-ton vehicles will hold an additional 15 tons of sand, the Associated Press reported Thursday night.

The trucks provide a dense, protective barrier in the event of a bombing. It is part of comprehensive antiterrorism strategies law-enforcement officials deploy to ensure public safety.

The Times Square New Year's Eve event is already a heavily policed affair, but the stakes are even higher this year after a series of terrorist attacks erupted in Europe — some of which involved the use of heavy vehicles.

A Tunisian man who drove a heavy truck into a Christmas market in Berlin this month killed 12 people and injured 56 others. His attack followed a more deadly assault in Nice, France, in July that left 86 people dead when a man drove a 20-ton refrigerated truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day.

Officials cited by the Associated Press said they were unaware of any specific threats against Times Square.

  • 65 sand-filled dump trucks
  • 100-plus patrol cars
  • 7, 000 officers
  • Specially armed counterterrorism units and bomb-sniffing dogs

The truck tactic has been used before.

Sanitation trucks filled with sand acting as barricades along Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower in New York City on November 8.REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Similar preparations are being made for New Year's Eve festivities in Las Vegas.

New York Police Department Chief Carlos Gomez told the AP, "As we formulated this year's plan, we paid close attention to world events and we learned from those events." The NYPD's commissioner, James O'Neil, echoed the sentiment, saying, "It can't just be, 'What happens in New York, what happens in the United States?' It has to be more, 'What happens worldwide?'"