By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This year the security for New Year’s Eve celebrations around the state of Rio de Janeiro will be increased 25 percent according to authorities, and the famous Réveillion event on Copacabana Beach will have 33 percent more military police. In total there will be 15,441 military police and 2,708 vehicles active on December 31st across the state.
On Copacabana Beach, 1,729 police officers and 114 vehicles will be mobilized. Of this total, authorities say 150 police officers will be positioned at thirty watch towers installed on the waterfront. The police will also be done on foot, with bikes and on horseback.
The Batalhão de Choque (Shock Battalion) will operate in 29 points in the Copacabana area, with eighty men and the support of motorcycles. Police unit teams will also be placed next to the stage where the shows will be performed during the New Year’s Eve party.
Three helicopters equipped with cameras will monitor key points in the city of Rio. The images are transmitted in real time to the Center for Integrated Command and Control Mobile, which will be positioned at the end of Avenida Princesa Isabel in Copacabana. There is also a police vehicle with imaging equipment capable of identifying firearms.
The metro (subway) station Cardeal Arcoverde, the main arrival and departure access to the New Year’s Eve in Copacabana, will be supported by police with canine units, as well as the tourist police unit (BPTur) on patrol with 65 officers, nine vehicles and twenty bikes. The Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) will also be on standby in the area.
In communities with Police Pacification Units (UPPs) there will also be reinforcing 1,325 police. The Operação Praia (Beach Operation) will reinforce the normal force between the days of December 31 and January 4, 2015, with UPP officers working along the edges of Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Barra da Tijuca and Recreio.
Authorities also report that in the Zona Norte (North Zone), 279 police and 23 vehicles will be distributed on New Year’s Eve policing on Piscinão de Ramos. On Ilha do Governador there will be 119 military police and ten cars. The party in Parque Madureira will have the support of 237 men and 27 vehicles. In Niterói, 425 police officers and 69 vehicles will be employed in the security program.