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NYPD Going All Out, Especially Behind The Scenes, To Keep Spectators Safe At Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade set to welcome back crowds this year, expect to see a heightened police presence.

Thousands of officers will be on hand Thursday to make sure the holiday tradition stays safe, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Wednesday.

It will be the type of security you'd expect to see, but the NYPD says there will be so much more going on behind the scenes to keep people safe.

The return of the beloved Macy's balloon inflation celebration was a welcome sign for residents and visitors alike.

"It feels great. We're very happy that things are starting to open up again," said Nathan Carleton of Sacramento, California.

"It feels good to get things sort of back to normal and all, so I'm happy with it," added Brian Bubenik of upstate Warwick.

Masks and vaccine cards were new requirements this year.

Street closures started at 7 a.m. Wednesday, as barriers kept traffic away from the large crowds. More closures have been added for Thursday morning's parade.

The NYPD is also out in full force, from security checkpoints to lining the perimeter and beyond.

"You will see our explosion detection K-9's. You'll see our heavy weapons and observation teams. You'll see our Bomb Squad response teams, as well as radiological and chemical sensors, and we have over 300 extra cameras deployed along the parade route," Chief of Counterterrorism Martine Materasso said.

Sanitation trucks will provide a physical barrier to help prevent tragedies like what happened at the Wisconsin Christmas parade.

"There are no, no specific and credible threats against this parade and against New York City," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The added security is a welcome sight for Elaine Chap of Lower Manhattan.

"I come from Chinatown and there has been Asian attacks, so I definitely feel safer with the extra security," Chap said.

All of the efforts to enhance security are being done to ensure this annual holiday tradition continues to bring joy and ushers in the holiday season.

The NYPD is reminding residents that drones are prohibited within city limits.

While there was a vaccination requirement for the balloon inflation, there is not a vaccination requirement to line the parade route Thursday. However, spectators must wear a mask.

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