Security plans set for Detroit's New Year's festivities
Detroit — As revelers make their way downtown Sunday police and event organizers are taking extra precautions to keep them safe as they ring in the new year.
Security has become an issue after violent episodes at recent celebrations in the city that drew large crowds — two shootings that left three injured at the downtown fireworks show in June and four non-fatally shot at Noel Night on Dec. 2 in Midtown. The shootings created a panic as people rushed to avoid possible danger.
With more than 30,000 people expected to attend the D-Drop celebration in Beacon Park, the crowd size has drawn security concerns, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the department has put safeguards in place.
"We're always in a constant state of readiness. We pay attention to news around the world and understand that ISIS has made a threat and I can't go into detail, but we have substantial safeguards in place," said Craig.
Propaganda posters have been released on ISIS-linked social media channels threatening to attack at New Year's Eve celebrations like New York City, London and Paris, according to The Sun.
ABC News reports the findings from multiple agencies concluded that there was "no information to indicate a specific, credible threat" against the Times Square celebration, but officials and the public should be cautious nonetheless.
D-Drop organizers DTE Energy and Quicken Loans have said safety is always a concern, but are confident the event will be successful.
"We feel very comfortable saying this will be a safe event," said Regina Stocco. "We have DTE Energy security, a private security firm, homeland security and more...there's a large focus that everyone stays safe."
Stocco said the weather is another safety concern and will be setting up large heated tents along with firepits scattered around the park.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are expected to reach from minus 9 in the city to minus 12, according to the National Weather Service.
“The closer you get to downtown, the less the wind chill will be. It’s that urban effect. The city traps some of the heat,” said meteorologist Trent Frey from the weather service’s White Lake Township office. “Either way, it’s dangerously cold. If you can limit time outside, it will be best.”
Craig said police won't just be paying attention to the Drop but also to large events like the Resolution Ball, Motor City Gala as well as clubs and venues.
"While the D-Drop's important, we have not lost sight of other venues. We hope everyone stays warm and has a good time," said Craig.