For the first time ever, a police drone will keep a watchful eye on the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York’s Times Square, as first reported by the Associated Press. The New York City Police Department deployed the gadget to keep the festivities safe, in addition to the 7,000 police officers it has on deck, bomb-sniffing dogs, and 200 blocker trucks filled with sand.
The quadcopter drone will be controlled remotely by trained police and will help give a bird’s-eye view of the massive crowds, although it will be fairly hard for passersby to spot, given its height in the air. While the police commissioner has said that there are no known threats to the New Year’s festivities, it’s pretty standard protocol for the police to come out in large numbers during big events.
The drone will also help detect any other unmanned vehicles in the air that aren’t authorized to fly, in addition to the cameras and police helicopters that usually keep watch. It will be tethered to a building and flown in an off-limits area so that in the event it crashes, nobody will get hurt from standing underneath, according to AP.