San Francisco ramps up security measures for New Year's celebrations

With the large crowds expected to be out and about for the many New Year's Eve celebrations, both police and event planners say there will extra security in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

Preparations are underway for the big San Francisco fireworks show.  On Wednesday, "no parking" signs could be seen and KTVU has learned that there will be plenty of eyes looking out for any suspicious behavior whether the celebration is outside or indoors.

At the W Hotel, balloons are being inflated one by one to create a drop at midnight. Workers are setting up the sound system so guests can dance the night away to music played by DJs.  But plans for extra security were in place long in advance.

"Security is definitely a concern to me after the Paris attacks. We started making preparations two months ago," said Toby Proesher, president of He's planned New Year's Eve parties for 10 years.

Proesher says many venues have doubled the normal number of security.

Along the waterfront, rain slowed the work of setting up the big fireworks display.  Red caps cover the tubes protecting the mortars that will be fired off.

Fingers, a bit numbed by the cold, yet still nimble enough to wire each mortar individually choreographed to music.

"Your hands are wet and you're trying to make electrical connections and you're handling things. From that aspect, it makes things more challenging, “said Jeff Thomas, show producer for Pyro Spectaculars by Souza.

Still, Thomas says two-thirds of the work is done.

90 minutes before the show starts at midnight, the tugboat pulls the two barges filled with the fireworks out 1,000 feet just south of the Ferry Building. Then the 15 minute show designed to delight an audience from all over the bay area goes on.
"It's very exciting. They're colorful. They're very big. They make loud noises. It attracts all of our senses," said Thomas.
Police hope any suspicious behavior will attract people's attention so they can alert officers.  Barricades are at the ready along the Embarcadero for crowd control.

Police say every available officer will be on the street.
"There's going to be officers pretty much on every single block in all the main areas of San Francisco. We also have a lot of plainclothes officers that you're not going to see that will be immersed within our city, within the people," said Officer Carlos Manfredi with San Francisco police.

The party at the W is one of many celebrations around San Francisco for what is arguably the biggest party night of the year.

All the celebrations have something in common.
"Keep everyone safe. That's the number one goal of everyone tomorrow night," said Proescher
Police say they have not received any threats, but that if anyone sees anything unusual, don't hesitate to alert an officer.