NYPD Reveal Hi-Tech Security for Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

November 28, 2018 Updated: November 28, 2018

NEW YORK—The NYPD has said there will be thousands of police, including rooftop coverage with long guns, K9s, and mounted units, on site for the 86th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 28.

At a press conference a day prior, police officials announced they’d be using more advanced techniques too such as the use of radiological detection technology, license plate readers, and drone detection equipment.

NYPD counterterrorism chief James Waters explained how they will neutralize the threat of drones.

“We will deploy technology—whether or not a drone is motorized or in the air. And we will take appropriate steps to find the operator as well as bring that down safely,” he said.

Police confirmed that there are no present security threats targeting the event. However, their security measures are designed to manage active shooter, vehicle ramming, and improvised explosive device scenarios.

Waters said the NYPD is working alongside the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to coordinate security for the event.

The event starts at 8 p.m., with the lights officially turning on 9:30 p.m. It will conclude at 11:30 p.m.

The tree-lighting viewing area is between 48, 49, 50 Streets and 5th and 6th Avenue. All attendees are required to go through security screening. No umbrellas, alcoholic beverages, or large backpacks are allowed. It is expected that there will be 20,000 live audience members.

In order to ensure safety, streets will be blocked near the event starting at 3 p.m., including 48th Street to 51st Street, 6th Avenue to Madison Avenue; and 47th Street and 52nd Street, between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue.