NYPD Deploying New Drones To Keep 4th Of July Crowd Safe – CBS New York
The whole Fourth of July holiday leads up to 9:20 p.m. for the 30-minute fireworks show over the East River. Like all large-scale events in the city, police are taking extra precautions, especially in public viewing areas.
“Officers will be checking people’s bags. Prohibited items – you’ll be asked to leave them aside. Officers have personal radiation detection equipment on their gun belts. They also have explosive trace detection, so they can swipe bags, similar to the airport,” NYPD Chief of Counterterrorism James Waters said earlier this week.
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Thousands of uniformed and plainclothes officers will be deployed throughout the area.
“We can’t have a cop in every location, but we could fly the drone to see what’s going on,” said NYPD TARU Commanding Officer Frank DiGiacomo.
New this year, two NYPD drones will be keeping an eye on the crowds from the sky.
“It gives us an opportunity to monitor crowds from our cellphones based directly from the drones,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.
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The drones can fly 40 feet up in the air and a half mile out. They help police determine the areas where officers are needed most. If there’s an issue, they can use the drones to speak directly to the crowd below.
“We’re not zooming in on any faces or anything like that, but if there is some kind of criminality that’s going on, we can zoom into faces and get more of a detailed description,” said Det. Deeu John.
For the best views of the fireworks, head south of the Brooklyn Bridge.