NYPD preps for potential protests, problems as millions are expected in Times Square on New Year's Eve

Times Square is globally renowned for its New Year's Eve celebration. 

It is also subject to major security concerns given its wide-scale popularity and frequent protests cropping up throughout the city in response to the Israel-Hamas War.

"This is America's city, and we are proud to host this major event," Mayor Eric Adams said in a security briefing Friday. 

The Times Square Alliance along with NYPD will work with federal authorities ahead and during Sunday night's event. 

Chief Jeffrey Maddrey confirmed that there were no specific credible threats to the festivities or the city, but warned that law enforcement would be on high alert.

Thousands of police will line the streets, some in uniform, some in plain clothes. Some along the streets, in buildings and even in the skies above, according to law enforcement officials.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 31: NYPD's Mounted Unit patrol officers ride their horses during 2021 New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square on December 31, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

"No one does it like the NYPD," Maddrey said Friday.

This comes as the NYPD also preps for the possibility of large-scale protests, similar to the ones on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.

On Thanksgiving, police took multiple demonstrators into custody after several disruptions during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

One pair of activists was seen along 6th Avenue, disrupting the parade.

During a ‘Christmas is Canceled’ rally, demonstrators clashed with police near a Starbucks where six people were arrested. 

Protests led by pro-Palestinian groups also erupted during the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting in Midtown Manhattan, leading to seven people being taken into custody.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 31: An NYPD officer directs visitors away from Times Square as streets are cordoned off prior to the New Year's Eve celebration on December 31, 2022 in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Ima

All of Times Square will be blocked off by noon on New Year's Eve.  Anyone trying to get into the area will have to go through security checkpoints. 

The ball will make its 60-second descent down the flagpole and drop at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31 signaling the start of 2024.

The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. and end at exactly 11:59 p.m.

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 31: New York Police Department (NYPD) members takes measures on Times Square ahead of the new year celebrations in New York, United States on December 31, 2022. Americans are preparing for the first open to public n

How to get into Times Square on NYE

Access to Times Square on the evening of Dec. 31 will be from 6th Avenue or 8th Avenue only. 

No one will be allowed to cross Broadway/7th Avenue once the streets have been closed. 

If your destination is east of Broadway/7th Avenue, you must enter at 6th Avenue and the nearest cross street to your destination. 

If your destination is west of Broadway/7th Avenue, you must enter at 8th Avenue and the cross street of your destination. 

The only exception is for businesses on 42nd Street; for those, you will need to enter at 41st Street and 8th Avenue.

Access points for the viewing areas:

  • 49th from 6th & 8th Avenues
  • 52nd from 6th & 8th Avenues
  • 56th from 6th & 8th Avenues