City promises tight security for New Year’s Eve after terror arrest

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Last week’s terror arrest has Harrisburg leaders keeping a closer eye on the city, especially as a major public event draws closer.

Christmas decorations are still decking out 2nd Street, but city leaders are already looking ahead to the next celebration: New Year’s Eve in a week and a half.

The security concern this time is Thursday’s arrest of midtown resident Jalil Aziz, 19, suspected of aiding ISIS.

“We don’t want to focus on fear,” said city spokeswoman Joyce Davis. “We don’t want to focus on negatives.”

At the same time, Davis acknowledged that it’ll be on a lot of people’s minds. She said there’s no need to worry.

“Local, county, state, federal,” she said. “They are in lock-step working together to protect this city.”

The New Year’s celebration will take over a portion of 2nd Street between Market and Locust.

City Hall will hold activities, and the evening will wrap up after the strawberry drop with a fireworks display outside the Hilton.

That’s the same area as this year’s holiday parade, which took place not long after the Paris attacks. The city promised stepped-up security then, too.

There were visible police patrols and explosive-sniffing dogs to check the parade route.

Davis wouldn’t go into specific security plans this time, saying it would be “foolish” to do so, but said nobody has reason to be scared.

“Just be confident,” she said, “our police have it under control.”

Harristown, the group putting on the strawberry drop, did not return a call seeking comment about security.

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