Police in Las Vegas on Alert for NYE; Fremont Criticized for Plans
Police in Las Vegas, Nevada are on high alert for New Year’s Eve, even though crowds are expected to be smaller.
In Las Vegas, New Year’s Eve celebrations will be different this year. Crowd sizes are expected to be much smaller than normal due to casino capacity as well as the fear of COVID-19. Even though there will not be as many people in attendance, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is still on high alert. Police want to make sure that everyone is safe and has an enjoyable time. An update to the NYE preparations by the police department comes at a time when the region has been hit hard with crime and acts of violence.
Prepping for the New Year
Police went before the media this week, to explain to the public their preparations for the New Year. A crowd of around 200,000 is expected today, which is less than the normal 330,000. Police officers are ready to work hard to ensure that travelers remain safe while having a good time. The Strip and downtown areas are of the most concern.
Due to the bombing that took place in Nashville on Christmas Day, officers are on a particular high alert. The police know that the bombing seems to have been completed by one man. However, they are remaining vigilant in case similar activity was to take place in Sin City.
Las Vegas has particular rules that are in place on NYE. This includes the banning of strollers, luggage, large bags, and carts from the Strip. Glass items are also banned. The city starts to close freeway ramps to the Strip at 5pm on NYE. Any intersecting roads are closed by 6:30 and no one is allowed to drive in. The Strip is shut down from Mandalay Bay all the way to Spring Mountain Road.
The Metro police department will have 1,400 officers on hand to patrol the area and respond to any incidents that take place. There is only one firework show that will take place this year. The Plaza Hotel is hosting the event downtown.
Fremont Street Experience Criticized for NYE Plans
As police plan to have a heavy presence in Las Vegas to avoid major issues, plans for the Fremont Street Experience are being heavily criticized, especially by the governor. An event is taking place in the area, set to welcome 14,000 people. Governor Steve Sisolak feels this event is irresponsible due to the continued issues in the region with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those attending the event will be paying a $25 fee in order to subsidize the cost for law enforcement. Members of the state’s coronavirus task force are worried that the virus will not be contained due to the number of people in one spot. Right now, Nevada is seeing a large increase of positive cases as well as a surge in hospitalizations.
As Fremont Street prepares to welcome guests, Governor Sisolak is asking people to avoid large gatherings. Employees are being encouraged to take precautions and businesses need to enforce the rules, including social distancing and mask wearing.
The governor pointed out that the virus is not going to take a day off due to the New Year. Casinos are still going to be at 25% capacity and gatherings are not allowed to take place. State enforcement authorities including members of the Gaming Control Board will be on hand to ensure that all COVID-19 safety measures are being followed.
The Fremont Street Experience is requiring that everyone in attendance wear a mask and stay six feet apart. While this sounds good in theory, it will be impossible to keep groups from gathering when you have so many people in one space. 14,000 people is a lot of bodies to try and corral away from each other.