LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said this New Year's Eve will be different, but their plans for handling it remain the same.
"Our posture has not changed," said LVMPD Deputy Chief Kelly McMahill during a press conference Tuesday. "We will have over 1,200 police officers on the Strip, another 200 that are working downtown, as well as our partnering law enforcement agencies and our federal partners."
Road closures will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and by 8 p.m. no cars will be allowed on Las Vegas Blvd from Mandalay Bay to Spring Mountain. If you're on the Strip, certain items are not allowed -- glass, bags larger than a paper grocery bag, luggage, strollers and carts.
McMahill said these measures are in place to keep people safe. LVMPD said they're also keeping the recent events in Nashville in mind and remaining vigilant.
"While there seems to be one man that acted by himself, we never chance anything. So we are doing several protective sweeps in the days leading up to New Years as well as that night both on the Strip and Downtown," said McMahill.
And while violence has plagued the Strip at times during the pandemic, the pandemic itself is the biggest concern for LVMPD going into New Year's Eve.
"We're going to manage whatever takes place on the Strip and whatever takes place downtown, but the very real fact is people are still getting sick at a very high rate in this country and in our very own home and that worries me the most," she said.
Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft said with COVID-19 hospitalizations reaching a critical point in the valley, he hopes Las Vegans will think of frontline medical workers and plan a safer way to celebrate the New Year.
"We're going to throw the biggest party the world has ever seen...next year," Naft said."Do it with your close group of friends and family. Keep that group small. Wear your mask. Wash your hands because we are nearing capacity in our community."
Even with these pleas, LVMPD Deputy Chief Kelly McMahill said people will come to the Strip and downtown and LVMPD's job is to keep visitors and officers as safe as possible. McMahill said LVMPD also has enforcement plans to prevent and disrupt large house parties that may happen in rental properties.
"We've already begun to target those locations and we're also putting out PSAs so that folks know that if they do come here and they're renting illegally and they host large parties, we're going to be knocking at their door," she said.
LVMPD says we all have to work together to keep each other healthy and she reminded everyone that Gov. Sisolak's mask mandate and gathering limits are still in effect and they will be encouraging compliance on the Strip.
Metro says they expect NYE on the Strip to look different this year bc of the pandemic and the cancellation of the main firework show but they say their “posture hasn’t changed.” More than 1,200 officers will be on the Strip and downtown for #NewYearsEve— Jackie Kostek (@JackieKostek) December 29, 2020