Hundreds of thousands of revellers are expected to ring in in the new year at midnight during New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square in New York. (Photo : Reuters)
It has been a time-honored tradition for decades.
And with throngs of crowds expected from around the world to descend on Times Square in New York City in a few hours to ring in the New Year, city officials are sparing no detail in making sure security is in top shape for tonight.
Hundreds of thousands of revelers are expected to flock to the heart of the Big Apple by Monday night to watch the ball drop in Times Square as it heralds the start of 2013.
Security is expected to be tight tonight as New York Police Department officers look to make sure that Times Square remains "the safest place in the world on New Year's Eve," according to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
"Times Square is an iconic location that draws a significant number of people every day," Kelly said. "New Year's Eve is the apex of that, so we have to plan accordingly."
Since the 9/11 terrorist attack, safety has become a main concern for police in Times Square, where packed crowds could potentially provide a target for terrorist activities.
Fortunately, officials are reporting that there have been no terror threats made to date specifically targeting the Times Square celebration.
But that doesn't mean city officials are leaving anything to chance.
Along with plainclothes officers in the crowd and a slew of uniformed officers to keep the peace, police will also be using barriers to prevent overcrowding and for checkpoints to inspect vehicles. Alcohol will also be banned