The NYPD top brass marked the first day of the US Open Monday by declaring that they are working overtime to ensure that spectators can enjoy the two-week tennis tournament safely.
For the first time since 2019, the US Open is back in Queens at full capacity and according to Chief Operating Officer of the United States Tennis Association, Billie Jean King National Center Daniel Zausner, the event is set to break records from that year. However, with such high volumes of crowds filing into the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and the Louis Armstrong Stadium, the police department is ramping up security.
“Planning for this event began the first day after last year’s US Open and this type of large-scale security preparation is nothing new for the women and men of the NYPD. New York City is the premier sporting and entertainment venue in the nation and the New York Police Department is there every step of the way,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Monday after touring Arthur Ashe Stadium. “The NYPD takes great pride in keeping the thousands of athletes, events staff and spectators safe during this historic tournament.”
Sewell promised to spare no expense, employing armed NYPD officers and even plain clothed detectives who will be observing the crowds. Canine and aviation units are also pledged to be on point throughout the sporting mecca with combined forces being dubbed extensive and comprehensive.
Some 750,000 tennis fans are expected to attend the games over the next two weeks, and police officials will not only be providing security around the massive stadiums themselves, but the NYPD will also be closely monitoring public transit such as the nearby 7 line and LIRR, advocating for the means of travel.
“The US Open is one of the most heavily attended sporting events in the world and we will have around the clock security to ensure the safety of our players, all the attendees and our venue as well,” Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey said. “More than half our ticket holders use mass transit. And as the Commissioner said earlier, we encourage everyone to take mass transit. We’re going to have extra officers out here to make sure we keep everything safe, as well. As managing the traffic. Alright, so this will ensure that we have a smooth flow of traffic and people will be safe.”
The NYPD indicated that they will also be paying close attention to particular dates over the next several weeks since some Mets and NYCFC games will be overlapping, resulting in especially heavy crowds in Queens.
Still, despite the deluge of humanity and attending notable figures, NYPD declared that intelligence suggests that there is currently no credible threat against the US Open. However, they will be remaining vigilant until it concludes on Sept. 11.
“We constantly monitor and assess the threat stream 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we have flexibility to adapt to any situation in response,” Sewell said. “We look forward to a safe and enjoyable event.”