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Las Vegas police will slim down New Year’s Eve presence

Updated December 18, 2020 - 8:38 am

With the Strip’s annual New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks show canceled, fewer roadways will be closed to vehicular and fewer officers will be required to patrol them, Las Vegas police said.

About 1,200 police officers — roughly 100 fewer than last year — will be on the Strip overnight on Dec. 31 than last year, Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Misael Parra said Thursday. The reduction is possible because while the Strip is normally closed to cars from Sahara Avenue to Reno Avenue during New Year’s Eve, only Spring Mountain Road to Reno Avenue will be shut this year.

That’s about 1 1/2 fewer miles of terrain open to pedestrians than normal. Parra said all other enforcement efforts for the holiday celebration will be the same.

“Obviously, we don’t know how many people are going to end up showing up on the Strip,” he said. “But we want to be prepared for how many people show up.”

Parra said officers from the North Las Vegas, Henderson and Clark County School District police departments will be assisting Metro during the celebration.

Lori Nelson-Kraft, a spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said Thursday that the agency is not providing an estimated number of people expected to visit the Strip for this year’s holiday “due to the fluid nature of the pandemic.”

An estimated 318,000 visitors were in Las Vegas for last year’s event.

UNLV economist Stephen Miller previously told the Review-Journal that this year’s holiday weekend could draw half the number of tourists. He based his prediction on convention authority tourism data showing the number of visitors in September and October was about half of what it was during the same months in 2019.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the area where police are shutting roads.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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