Top NYPD brass assembled outside of Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday to reassure the public that the U.S Open faces no credible threat of attack or act of terrorism.
Police Commissioner Edward Caban said that the NYPD began preparing safety protocols immediately after last year’s international sports extravaganza concluded and will feature beefed-up police around Flushing Meadows Corona Park and inside the transit system, such as along the 7 line.
“As you walk around the tournament grounds, there will be security measures you will see, and some you will not see. Obviously, there will be an increased police presence in and around the complex, including screening checkpoints at points of entry, uniformed foot posts and bike teams, as well as aviation, harbor, K-9, transit, and other specialized units,” top cop Caban said.
The department estimates that more than 900,000 people will make their way to the sporting Mecca over the next two weeks with nearly half traveling from outside of the tri-state area while about 25% are expected to visit from abroad. Although police would not reveal exactly how many additional officers would bolster key security points, Commissioner Caban did say it would be in the hundreds.
The top cops also warned the public not to fly drones in the area.
Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism Rebecca Weiner said that despite the city recently changing its rules around the use of drones, any unauthorized drone piloting could result in the craft being confiscated and the owner being slapped with a summons or even arrest.
“This is important. NYPD and our law enforcement partners have a zero-tolerance policy for unauthorized persons found operating drones in and around this center,” Weiner said. “Public safety is a shared responsibility, and we depend on you, the public, and your eyes and ears to make sure that we’re all alert to anything that might be arising. Our greatest strength is the partnership that we enjoy with our community.”
Due to the high number of vehicles expected to be in the area for the event, police officials encouraged ticket holders to arrive via public transportation in order to mitigate delays. Backpacks, cans, bottles, and laptops are among the prohibited items that will not be allowed on site.
“As you all know, we handle large scale events both planned and unplanned all the time, and nobody does it better than the NYPD,” Commissioner Caban said.