Local News

Raleigh Stepping Up Security For First Night Festivities

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RALEIGH — One month ago, Raleigh's new police chief formed an anti-terrorism group which has been busy collecting data, assessing threats and planning security for public gatherings, like Raleigh's annual New Year's Eve celebration.

First Night Raleigh 2002

organizers said that they will follow the increased security plan they drafted for their millenium party in 1999 when 75,000 people attended the festivities on the Fayetteville Street Mall.

Raleigh police will be posted at exits and entrances, they will man observation posts in the crowd, and plain clothes officers will be on patrol.

"First Night is one of the public gatherings we're looking at, working closely to put a security plan together," said Capt. Gene Gaskins of the Raleigh Police Department.

Police say security is an issue any time that thousands of people gather for an outdoor celebration.

The police department is working with the 911 center and local hospitals to spell out a coordinated response to any potential terrorist act.