Paris to Deploy 40 Riot Units on New Years Evegreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
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Parisian police on alert for New Year's Eve November 10, 1999 Web posted at: 12:31 p.m. EST (1731 GMT)
PARIS (AP) -- For many people, New Year's Eve may look like the party to end all parties, as revelers usher in the last year of the 20th century. But for Paris' 20,000 regular police officers, it's shaping up to be a hectic night on the job.
All the French capital's gendarmes are expected to be placed on alert, in an effort to keep the peace among the 1 million partyers expected as fireworks burst around the Eiffel Tower.
Plans were made public Tuesday by Paris police The regular police are to be backed up by 40 units of black-clad riot police and other roving officers, bringing the total to some 23,000 people.
Trying to control 1 million rowdy souls might sound like a nightmare assignment, but Paris police have had lots of experience recently, notably in the massive celebrations on the Champs-Elysies after France's World Cup soccer victory in 1998.
Lessons have been learned.
After a car rolled among swarming football fans, killing one person and injuring 150, authorities have decided to cordon off the center of town ahead of the New Year 2000 party. Parking is to be banned in the area around the Champs-Elysies for two days ahead of the celebration.
Paris' tree-lined central avenue is expected to be overrun as 11 special Ferris wheels start spinning at midnight.
The City of Light is also preparing for possible blackouts triggered by the "Y2K bug" -- the computer glitch that some specialists say could cause problems as the new year dawns.
Authorities plan to open sports halls and gymnasiums to those who may be evacuated from buildings, should any such problems occur.
Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
-- Roland (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 1999
40 Riot Units! Man do they know how to party!
-- Mad Monk (email@example.com), November 12, 1999.