No time off for police as they prepare for millennial mayhem
Police in Paris will be ringing in the New Year in uniform. The department is granting no time off from December 30 through January 2, so they can have everyone on the force prepared in the event of trouble.
Police are preparing for every possible scenario, even calling in the army if they need the extra force. Police say hooligans are using events to bring together huge crowds and create trouble, and they dont want to take any chances this New Year's Eve.
Police site recent problems on the national holiday as an example. On July 14 youths from dormitory suburbs went on a rampage during the annual "Fete de la Musique" music festival, which is exactly what police are hoping to avoid this New Year.
The latest effort is being called "Mission 2000" and it is being organized by Rene Georges Querry, who was in charge of security at last years World Cup soccer tournament. Police sources told The Scotsman newspaper that the army could be mobilized if need be, but they hope that wont be necessary.
The biggest party will be around the Avenue de Champs- Elysees where 1.5 million revelers are expected. Police will be out in force in this area due to the sheer number of people planning to be in the streets.
In an effort to cut off trouble before it begins, the city has cancelled a couple of events. A giant karaoke evening has been scrapped. This after a similar event at the Parc des Princes, the main sports stadium, broke up in violence earlier this year. A mobile concert was also cancelled. One of Frances most famous entertainers, Johnny Halliday, was suppose to travel up and down the Champs-Elysees on a float, but that concert was given the thumbs down by party organizers.
The police presence will be noticed not just on New Years Eve, but on the days leading up to the big night as well. Police will be posted on access roads into the city and will try to stop any attempts to bring in clubs and iron bars often used by "casseurs" or smashers, to break in and loot shops during demonstrations and other large gatherings in Paris.
Police say there is no way to prohibit young people from taking part in the party this New Years Eve, but they also say there