About 1 million people celebrate the arrival of 2016 in Times Square in the midst of heavy security


Tourists as well as several thousand New Yorkers gathered in Times Square on Thursday to usher in the arrival of the New Year 2016, in spite of concerns leading to sharply enhanced security.

Once the shimmering ball was dropped, confetti rained down on the New Year revelers to mark the start of 2016. But, in the midst of balloon-waving, hugging and kissing masses were some 6,000 officers from the New York Police deployed for the event which was about 800 more compared to the previous years.

Bill de Blasio, the major, pumped his fist at midnight and embraced Chirlane McCray, his wife.

The mayor said that this was one among the great events in the country every year.  Earlier on Thursday, he told CNN that it was a fantastic party. He added that the city would be kept safe and in the night of Thursday, New York would be among the safest places in the U.S.

A 35-year-old man from Brooklyn, Gilbert Dejesus immediately received a kiss from Jennifer, his wife.  He added that it was a beautiful experience even as “New York, New York” was playing in the background. He also stated that it was great to live one more year and still be living in the best country around the world.

Heading into a busy holiday season, the city had been on an enhanced alert owing to the Paris attacks in November and shootings in San Bernardino.

Some NYPD officers deployed at the Times Square came from the new police unit that is dedicated to counterterrorism, the CRC (Critical Response Command) and carry additional cameras, long guns, and police dogs capable of sniffing out bombs.

William Bratton, the police commissioner, speaking from the ball drop area also stated that people who came tonight ought to feel safe since they will be safe. He added that this was also an iconic New Year celebration.

Hand-held wands were employed for screening visitors before they could enter the ball drop area and no bags were permitted inside.

42 years old Vanessa Lindeman with her husband and 18 months old son were waiting near the 42nd street since 5.30 pm anticipating the New Year’s Eve celebrations. The family is slated to move back to Australia and wanted to ensure that they spent, at least, this New Year’s Eve at the Times Square before returning to Australia.