Security tight at Tampa's NYE celebrations

- New Year’s Eve celebrations kicked off Saturday evening in the bay area.

One of the largest celebrations was at Channelside where folks waited to take in the fireworks at midnight.

But behind the scenes there was a big focus on security.

Law enforcement in Tampa and around the world was on high alert this year, especially after a new year’s terror attack at a night club in Istanbul, Turkey.

Tampa police said they had a robust plan to keep the thousands of people celebrating New Year’s safe.

Major cities like New York blocked off streets and areas like Times Square with dump trucks. It's to deter the kind of attack we saw just before Christmas in Berlin.

There was no known credible threat for something similar here in the U.S. but officials took safety seriously, even here in Tampa.

“Some can be seen some can't be seen. But we have taken that into consideration and we've been very very successful. Knock on wood we've been very successful over the years doing these large parades and large events,” explained Lt. Rich Mills with Tampa Police.

At events like the fireworks in Tampa, and the Outback Bowl Parade earlier, police were highly visible. Barricades were in place, blocking off streets.

And police pushed people celebrating to play a hand in their own safety.

“If they see something that's out of the ordinary, that doesn't really fit in with the crowd, or what they're seeing, then [they need] to contact law enforcement immediately,” Lt. Mills said.

People enjoying themselves on New Year’s Eve said the police presence gave them peace of mind.

“You know, TPD, with every parade, has everything pretty much locked down and you don't even give it a second thought,” said JD Dunn of Tampa.

And Stephanie Kersten, who visited Tampa from Orlando said, “I'm trying not to live in fear you know because god doesn't want I need to put my faith in him. That's not a way to live.”

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Security tight at Tampa's NYE celebrations
  • Fire heavily damages several apartments in Tampa
  • Vigil held remembering 11-year-old Janiya Thomas
  • Police investigating apparent drowning
  • St. Pete Pride weekend wraps up
  • Uber driver accidentally discharges gun at water park
  • Polk County deputies arrest 'armed and dangerous' man
  • Coast Guard Medevacs man from fishing vessel off Venice
  • St. Pete wreck seriously injures passenger
  • Pedestrian killed in Tampa wreck