San Francisco

San Francisco Ramps Up Security for New Year's Festivities

As San Francisco counts down the clock to 2018, officials are fine-tuning plans to make sure the hundreds of thousands of people expected to flock to the city will enjoy a safe and secure holiday.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Acting Mayor London Breed, Police Chief William "Bill" Scott and Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White highlighted that the city will ramp up its law enforcement presence, not tolerate drinking and driving, and keep an eye out for illegal fireworks.

"People will be everywhere in this city ringing in the New Year, but what is most important to us is that we make sure that everyone is safe," Breed said.

San Francisco will activate its emergency operations center for the New Year's festivities and work alongside federal partners to make sure the city is protected, especially in the wake of last week's foiled terror plot.

"That event is a good reminder that the threat is real," Marina Mayo, Assistant Special Agent for Counterterrorism with the FBI's San Francisco office, said. "It is a shared responsibility for local, state and federal law enforcement to work together."

Scott said there are no known credible threats to San Francisco, but folks who flock to the city can expect to see an increase in the number of uniformed and plainclothes officers, paramedics and other emergency responders patrolling the city.

"You will see a very heavy, visible police and law enforcement presence at the usual events where people gather to celebrate," Scott said.

Revelers in San Francisco will also have access to emergency text message alerts courtesy of the Department of Emergency Management. People interested in receiving the emergency alerts are encouraged to text the phrase "NYESF17" to 888-777.

Aside from encouraging the public to stay vigilant and safe, officials are imploring people to do their part by not drinking and driving or lighting off fireworks.

"It's senseless to lose any lives to drunk driving when there's free transportation," Scott said. "It's senseless to have our loved ones have body parts blown off for irresponsible use of fireworks."

Breed said Muni, Caltrain and BART will be running free service starting on the night of New Year's Eve and continuing into New Year's Day.

"We don't want people drinking and driving," Breed said.

Hayes-White also took time to remind the public that the sale and use of fireworks in the city by the bay is illegal.

"We will be paying close attention on Sunday night in particular as we do all nights but particularly on New Year's Eve to anyone that would be potentially wanting to use illegal fireworks," she said. "If you want to see fireworks, go to the show along the Embarcadero and leave it to the professionals."

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