Keeping New York's Times Square safe on New Year's Eve

NEW YORK -- With over a million people expected in Midtown Manhattan and a billion more watching on TV, New York officials are determined to make Times Square the safest place on earth on New Year's Eve.

"We are the best prepared city in the country," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. "We know how to do big events, we have shown it time and time again."

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A New York police officer patrols Times Square. CBS News

Five thousand uniformed and undercover officers will be in Times Square. Snipers will be on rooftops, garbage cans removed, manhole covers sealed shut and radiation detectors deployed.

This year, the NYPD established a 500 person Special Response Unit that holds regular drills. At a new operations center in Downtown Manhattan, officers monitor thousands of camera feeds.

On New Year's Eve, the room will be staffed with members of governmental and private agencies. Last month, Chief James O'Neill gave CBS News a tour.

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NYPD Joint Operations Center CBS News

"You know, I'm not going to tell people not to be concerned. But I am going to tell them to feel safe," O'Neill said. "I don't think anyone does this work better than the NYPD along with our federal partners."

But memories of the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks are fresh.

"Both through our capabilities on the threat analysis beforehand, prevention side of it, and the ability to respond very quickly, we believe we are prepared as anybody can be," police commissioner Bill Bratton told CBS News.

As was the case last year, Times Square spectators will all be searched, required to get into place early and stay there. They will also not be allowed to bring in large bags, backpacks or alcohol.