The Latest: New York police say everyone should feel safe

AP News
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Posted: Dec 31, 2016 6:50 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on New York's New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square. (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

New York City's police commissioner says more than 7,000 officers are working to secure the city for New Year's Eve.

Commissioner James O'Neill says everyone should feel safe, especially in Times Square, where hundreds of thousands of revelers gather to watch the crystal ball drop and ring in 2017.

Police say there were no specific, credible terror threats against the city. But police say they've prepared — including lining the Manhattan streets near the celebration with sanitation trucks filled with sand to prevent any attempts to drive into crowds.

Andy Bui (boy) traveled with his new wife from Adelaide, Australia, to be in Times Square on New Year's Eve for the first time. He says just being in the crowd was getting him excited.

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4 p.m.

Revelers have begun to pack into Times Square to secure coveted spots hours before the annual New Year's Eve ball drop.

Onlookers donning oversized 2017 eyeglasses and green Statue of Liberty hats were screened by police Saturday afternoon ahead of the midnight bash.

Street vendors hawked scarves, plastic glasses, paper horns and other New Year's Eve merchandise.

If celebrants leave the Crossroads of the World once they're in one of 35 metal pens, they aren't allowed to re-enter.

But that didn't faze Stefania Moran, of Puebla, Mexico, who described celebrating New Year's Eve in New York as a must-do "before you die."

Officials believe as many a million people will descend upon Times Square to bring in the New Year.

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1 a.m.

Maybe a million revelers are expected to navigate through high security in the blocks around New York City's Times Square to cheer on the new year with entertainers including Mariah Carey.

The annual minute-long midnight descent of the famed glittering crystal ball is the highlight of a celebration watched around the world.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (bahn kee-moon) will launch the ball with a press of a button.

Security has gradually been tightened for the event over the last two decades.

Recent deadly truck attacks in Germany and France brought about another security upgrade this year. Dozens of 20-ton sanitation trucks weighted with an extra 15 tons of sand will block off streets leading to the celebration zone.

About 7,000 police officers will be there, too.