Authorities Stress Safety and Sanity During San Francisco NYE Celebrations

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/KCBS) — Tens of thousands of people were expected to cram the streets of San Francisco, as well as its historic waterfront, to ring in 2011.

Local emergency response agencies were putting on a united front to help keep the peace over the holiday weekend.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

“We want people to come to San Francisco, we want people to have fun. But we want people to be safe,” stressed San Francisco Police Department Chief George Gascon.

“We anticipate, easily, a half-million people in the city during the evening,” Gascon explained. “There will be zero tolerance for public drunkenness, open containers, underage drinking, and certainly driving under the influence.”

He warned of a heavy police presence Friday evening.

“We have also moved around our shifts in order to increase our deployment without having to increase our overtime expenditures because we don’t have the money to spend.”

BART’s Police Department would also be out in force.

“We will have extra presence, a large number of police officers on both sides of the Bay,” warned Chief Kenton Rainey.

“We want to make sure that all our customers have a safe and secure New Year’s when riding our transportation.”

San Francisco’s Fire Department promised to work closely with law enforcement as well.

“Ensuring that we don’t have illegal fireworks,” said Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White. “That our venues are not overcrowded.”

“Pretty commonsense ideas are good ones,” Hayes suggested. “Use good judgment, make good decisions.”

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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