NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes discussed plans for security on July 4, especially regarding the city's fireworks.
"This time last year our city was enduring one of the most challenging times in our history," de Blasio said. "The Fourth of July celebration was scaled back to a virtual event. Well, this year is different."
Federal authorities are deeply concerned about domestic terrorism and violence as the holiday weekend approaches, and while there's no credible threat to New York City, the NYPD will be stepping by their efforts.
"There are absolutely no credible threats regarding the Fourth of July fireworks," Holmes said. "Our intelligence and counterterrorism are working around the clock, constantly monitoring the threat stream."
For the big fireworks event, officers will be everywhere -- including the K-9 units, bomb squad, and harbor patrol -- and spectators will have to go through a metal detectors.
"Everyone will be searched at these access points," Holmes said. "You are not allowed to bring backpacks, large blankets, seats, umbrellas, and no alcohol."
Viewing areas for this year's fireworks will be based on placement of the barges and are listed as follows:
-- FDR Drive from 14th st to 51st street with access points 14th street, 23rd Street, 34th Street, 42nd Street.
-- Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Grand Ferry Park, Domino Park, Bushwick Inlet Park, East Rvier State Park, and Transmitter Park
-- Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park
"The Fourth of July celebration will be unprecedented once again, but this time for all the right reasons," de Blasio said. "Its size, spender, and hopefully, its crowds."
Road closures are expected during the fireworks show, but something different this year is that traffic will be stopped on both the Willliamsburg and 59th Street bridges, and the NYPD announced reckless driving and driving under the influence cases are at a record high.
This year, there have been nine drunk driving fatalities, and this weekend, highly trained officers will be on the roadways to catch impaired drivers.
"Let me be clear," NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster said. "If you decide to be selfish and get behind the wheel while impaired, the NYPD will arrest you, will take your car, and you will learn the consequences. My suggestion is call an Uber."
Police are going to start to shut down traffic at 2 p.m. and closures will go into effect at 3 p.m.
Officials are asking people not to come out too early. The fireworks are scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m.
Access will allowed starting at 6:30 p.m.
"Please take public transportation," Holmes said. "It's going to be very difficult to get around the city between 2 p.m. and 2 a.m."
Also this year, vehicular traffic will be stopped on the Williamsburg Bridge as well as the 59th St./Ed Koch Bridge.
Chief Holmes said the NYPD will not be enforcing mask-wearing, and Mayor de Blasio asked people who are not vaccinated "to be smart about it. But we are not expecting to have a heavy hand."
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