NEW YORK • Both US presidential candidates planned to watch the election returns in New York, prompting the city to stage the largest Election Day police deployment in its history.
More than 5,000 police officers were stationed around the United States' largest city yesterday, and extensive street closures were expected in the neighbourhoods where Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump planned to watch returns come in - and where one will likely declare victory before hundreds of supporters.
"We know that the eyes of the world will be on New York City," Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference on Monday. "We have an obligation, not only to the people in the city but to this country, to make sure that tomorrow, all through the day and particularly tomorrow night, go smoothly and goes well."
Mrs Clinton is holding her election night event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, near the Hudson River, while Mr Trump's is at a large Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
The city's heightened security efforts came after federal authorities received unspecific threats of attacks by the Al-Qaeda militant group on New York City, Texas and Virginia around Election Day.
Yesterday would be the first time that both major party candidates have spent Election Day in New York City since 1944, when New York state's Republican governor, Mr Thomas Dewey, tried to unseat Democrat and New Yorker Franklin Roosevelt, who went on to win an unprecedented fourth term in office.
Some of the New York City Police Department's uniformed officers stationed across Manhattan and the city's 1,205 polling stations carried automatic weapons and explosives- detection equipment. All of the city's bomb-sniffing police dogs would be deployed, as well as special roving teams of officers, police said. The candidates were also protected by the US Secret Service.
"This is by far the largest election detail that the NYPD has ever had," said Mr Carlos Gomez, chief of the city's police department. "It's comparable to the detail size we have here on New Year's Eve and last year, when Pope Francis visited."