On patrol aboard an NYPD counterterrorism boat

The Macy's 4th of July fireworks draws more than 2 million visitors. It is one of the biggest events in New York City every year.

Aboard the $1.6 million specially equipped boat called the CT3, Fox 5 News got an inside look at the NYPD's elite counterterrorism unit to find out what they're doing to keep everyone safe.

"So we're cruising right now up the East River from Lower Manhattan up to 42nd Street where the barges for the Macy's Fireworks display will be," Counterterrorism Chief James Waters said. "So this area will be shut down to boat traffic."

While public safety for the spectators is a priority, so is protecting the security zone where the fireworks barges are parked. The CT3 gives the officers important tools.

"The radiation-detection system within the hull of the boat gives us a 360-degree radius of radiation detection, pretty much looking for a dirty bomb out here on the water," Sgt. Harold Salters said.

This top-of-the-line moose patrol boat was actually customized by the police officers who use it every single day. It has sonar for searching underwater and state-of-the-art communications equipment for real-time coordination with what's happening on land.

Chief Waters said there are no credible or specific threats to the fireworks celebration.

"The New York City Police Department and all of its partners will be securing this event as well as many other events throughout the city," Chief Waters said. "On the water, on land, and in the air."

With all the planning and personnel that goes into this, Chief Waters said the NYPD's ultimate goal is to have everyone go home safely after having a night they'll never forget.