New Year's Eve in Las Vegas is known as "America's Party" and this year the city is stepping up safety precautions with the help of the federal government.
At the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department press briefing, Sheriff Joe Lombardo described how this year's security measures have increased because of the "SEAR 1" designation. SEAR stands for Special Event Assessment Rating. The SEAR 1 status is given to the events with the highest national significance, attendance and economic impact. Last year's event was SEAR 2.
What's different this year?
- Spotter teams in downtown and the Strip will include snipers.
- More quick response teams for critical incidents
- Federal intelligence personnel to provide support
- More medics and medical supplies
- More K9s to secure key areas
- 2 additional mobile command posts
Over 300 national guard and over 1,500 police officers will be working to keep Las Vegas safe for the 3-day period before, during and after New Year's Eve. But police still need the public's help to help identify potential dangers. "Nothing is too small to say something," Lombardo added.
"Never will it be as safe as it will be this year," said Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak.
800 bollards have been installed along the Strip, with plans to add 7,500 more in 2018. That's in addition to 4,200 barricades that will be in place on New Year's Eve.
If you're attending the celebrations, here's what you need to leave at home. These items are prohibited:
- Glass bottles
- Large bags
WATCH the full press briefing in the video player at the top of this page.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
- Go with a group of people and plan where you're going in advance.
- Decide how everyone will get home.
- Let someone you trust know where you are going.
- Use a safety app such as Circle of 6 to communicate with friends and family.
Know your transportation options:
- The RTC is offering free rides. Click here for a map of routes and detours.
- If you're planning to visit the Strip, the monorail is offering $1 tickets for locals. Click here for more information.
- AAA will be offering its Tipsy Tow services for drivers who are intoxicated. Call 1-800-222-4357. They will provide a free 10-mile tow and ride home even if you're not a AAA member.
- Lyft is offering $5 off 2 rides on New Year's Eve with code LVM18. Click here to redeem.
- If you've never used Uber before and you're going to an MGM resort, you can get $20 off your trip. To redeem visit the resort website, click on Amenities then click on Transportation.
- Click here for more information on road closures and transportation options
Neighborhood fireworks are illegal but prepare your pets.
Unlike the 4th of July holiday, all fireworks including those labeled as "safe and sane" are prohibited. But just in case someone in your neighborhood doesn't follow the rules, be aware of your pet's safety. Keep your pets indoors and in a space where they won't cause damage if they get spooked.
On New Year's Eve night, pet owners are suggested to take precautions for pets the same way as 4th of July. Fireworks are illegal during the holiday period, you should be prepared in case someone doesn't follow the law.
— Las Vegas FireRescue (@LasVegasFD) December 26, 2017