LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas police are preparing for pre-pandemic crowds on the Las Vegas Strip on New Year’s Eve despite the omicron variant causing a surge in case numbers. It’s estimated there will be 300,000 people on the Strip to ring in the New Year.
This year the fireworks show will return to the Las Vegas Strip and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department plans to have 1,200 officers strategically placed along Las Vegas Boulevard and another 200 in the downtown area. In addition, The Nevada National Guard will have more than 100 soldiers on duty to assist with crowd control.
There will also be plenty of first responders.
“New Year’s Eve is typically one of the busiest nights for first responders. We will have a robust presence on the Strip,” said Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Warren Whitney.
“This is about safety and each of us doing our own part to make sure we are the eyes and ears of our first responders,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.
Anyone who sees something suspicious is being urged to call 911 or notify a police officer.
Temperatures will dip that night. He’s encouraging all visitors to the Strip to wear warm clothing and comfortable shoes. In addition, no glass or metal containers, coolers, strollers, and any bags larger than 12x12x6 inches are prohibited on the Strip and downtown. This includes backpacks, purses, and luggage.
Road closures along Las Vegas Boulevard will begin at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and by 8 p.m., the Strip will be fully shut down to vehicle traffic from Spring Mountain Road to Mandalay Bay Road. There will also be a curfew in effect that will prohibit anyone under 18 without a parent on Las Vegas Boulevard and in the downtown area.
The pandemic isn’t over so local leaders are urging everyone to take precautions.
“We want you to be happy and healthy and come celebrate in this amazing city and this amazing community. There’s nowhere else like this in the world,” said undersheriff Christopher Darcy, LVMPD.
“We encourage everyone to look out for one another. Take personal responsibility and proactively take actions that help limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep everybody safe,” said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft.
That includes vaccinations, boosters, wearing a mask indoors, and staying home if you feel sick.
After a recent rash of deadly DUI crashes, local authorities are asking people to be responsible if they plan on drinking alcohol.
“I am begging our community once again to make a transportation plan before you start your party. Do not get behind the wheel if you’re impaired. It’s that simple,” Naft said.
There are plenty of transportation options including free bus service on RTC until 9 a.m. New Year’s Day. Also, the monorail is charging $1 per ride for locals with ID and the rideshare company LYFT is offering fare credits thanks to a partnership with Las Vegas Coalition for Zero Fatalities.
Police want to remind visitors although retailers can legally sell marijuana in Nevada, it can not be consumed or smoked in a public area.
Clark County crews will begin unloading 4,000 crowd control metal barricades early Friday morning in preparation for the street party.
After the party’s over, 22 street sweepers will pick up an estimated 10 to 12 tons of trash before the roads and Las Vegas Boulevard are reopened to vehicle traffic.