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NYPD Takes To The Streets And Skies For 4th Of July Fireworks Security

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Security will be tight for the 43rd annual Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show in New York City.

Thousands of NYPD officers will have their eyes on the crowd from the ground, on the water and in the air. This year, police are using new drone technology in their effort to keep everyone safe.

The whole Fourth of July holiday leads up to 9:20 p.m. for the 30-minute fireworks show over the East River. Like all large-scale events in the city, police are taking extra precautions, especially in public viewing areas.

"Officers will be checking people's bags. Prohibited items - you'll be asked to leave them aside. Officers have personal radiation detection equipment on their gun belts. They also have explosive trace detection, so they can swipe bags, similar to the airport," NYPD Chief of Counterterrorism James Waters said earlier this week.

Web Extra: NYPD Outlines 4th Of July Security Plans

Thousands of uniformed and plainclothes officers will be deployed throughout the area.

"We can't have a cop in every location, but we could fly the drone to see what's going on," said NYPD TARU Commanding Officer Frank DiGiacomo.

New this year, two NYPD drones will be keeping an eye on the crowds from the sky.

"It gives us an opportunity to monitor crowds from our cellphones based directly from the drones," NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.

MORE: Macy's 4th Of July Fireworks: Where To Watch, Street Closures & More

The drones can fly 40 feet up in the air and a half mile out. They help police determine the areas where officers are needed most. If there's an issue, they can use the drones to speak directly to the crowd below.

"We're not zooming in on any faces or anything like that, but if there is some kind of criminality that's going on, we can zoom into faces and get more of a detailed description," said Det. Deeu John.

The NYPD says there is no specific or credible threat to public safety.

For the best views of the fireworks, head south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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