The New York Police Department has revealed that it will deploy a camera-equipped drone above Times Square during the New Year’s Party where crowd-size experts expect around 100,000 people to be present, while the city cites a number closer to 2 million people instead.
Regardless of how many people will actually turn out to arrive, the NYPD is not going to take any risks and will take full advantage of the drone’s abilities.
It’s the first time the NYPD uses a remote-controlled quadcopter to supervise a large event, though the department has started using the drones since earlier this month. Several of them are reported to come equipped with thermal-imaging and 3D-mapping abilities, along with lenses that have powerful zooming features.
The New Years drone will be tethered to a building and then it will subsequently fly over a cordoned-off area so no one would get hurt in case the machine will fall. Even if everything turns out to work perfectly, the drone will not be flying directly above the crowd at any time.
Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller has advised the spectators to remain vigilant regardless: “There’s probably going to be a cop within 10 feet of you,” Miller stated “If you see something, you can go right to them directly.”
According to Police Commissioner James O’Neil, there are no known threats expected during the New Year’s party but, even so, the NYPD will add over 1,200 fixed cameras to its drone surveillance efforts, while also keeping an eye on the feeds from the police helicopters that will be circling above the area.