2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Security Beefed Up To Protect Against Terrorism

Tomorrow, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will celebrate 90 years of marching down the New York streets to kick off the beginning of the Christmas season. While there will be a few new acts and a few new balloons, the biggest addition to this year’s parade is security.

NBC News reported that for the first time in the history of the parade, every cross street along the parade route will be blocked off with the use of 83 sanitation trucks filled with sand, and eight “vapor dogs” will be employed as well. This will also be the first year that the NYPD Critical Response Command’s elite officers armed with long guns will be working the parade.

This photo was taken on November 8, 2016. More than 80 city sanitation trucks will be used during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade route to create an imposing physical barrier to terror. [Image by Seth Wenig/AP Photo]

“This year we’re going to see a bit more of a robust counterterrorism presence,” said Chief Jim Waters, head of the New York’s counterterrorism. “There’s been a lot of rhetoric and propaganda from ISIL and from al Qaeda recently…and we don’t take any chances here in New York City.”

While no one is suggesting that there is any specific or credible threat against the parade, ISIS has gone on record suggesting that its followers in the West use trucks, similar to the ones used in the attack in Nice, France, to disrupt the celebration as the Macy’s parade would be “an excellent target.” The sanitation truck, each being filled with about 16 tons of sand, are being used to guarantee that no vehicle will be able to break through. The vapor-smelling Labradors will be on hand to sniff out any explosives.

“Those dogs work on the displacement of air past your body, so I would smell your perfume or cologne, and the dog would smell the explosives emanating from one’s body,” said Waters. “So as opposed to walking up to a package and sniffing the package, they can work a large crowd area by just having the right wind direction.”

In this November 8, 2016, file photo, Trump Tower is blocked off by police and sanitation trucks in New York. [Image by Seth Wenig/AP Photo]

More than 500 officers in command will be added to the 3,000 police cops who have already been assigned the route to protect the 3.5 million people who are expected to be in the crowd this year. Most of this activity will be shielded from the audience viewing the Thanksgiving parade from the comfort of their homes. On a brighter note, TV viewers will be given two choices to experience the parade.

The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS will be hosted by Kevin Frazier from Entertainment Tonight and Keltie Knight from The Insider and will feature performances by Sting and Miranda Lambert as well as special numbers from Broadway musicals The Color Purple, On Your Feet, and School of Rock. Their broadcast of the parade will air at different times — 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Central, and 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mountain Time. The Pacific presentation will be delayed and will air from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


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The cast of “Hairspray Live!’ will perform during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. [Image by Trae Patton/NBC]

NBC’s presentation of the 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will be hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker of NBC’s Today. NBC will air special performances by the cast of Cats, Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical, Cirque du Soleil Paramour, and Waitress. Other performances include the Radio City Rockettes and the entire cast of the upcoming Hairspray Live.

[Featured Image by Tina Fineberg/AP Images]

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