This year’s Famously Hot New Year’s Eve brought out more police than ever before, organizers said. But the cops weren't just out to enforce the law, but also to show the human side of the uniform.
“That's what we've been doing out here all night — customer service,” said Columbia officer Tacauma Lettsome. “It's a great night.”
New Year's Eve last year brought out about 28,000 people, Famously Hot New Year’s Eve co-chairwoman Jill Armbruster said. Organizers planned for even more in 2015, and police presence reflected that.
Uniformed officers from the Columbia Police Department made a visible showing during the celebration, but event partnership coordinator Barbara Rackes said the department had plainclothes officers out as well.
“They're looking for the things the guys in uniform aren't going to be able to see,” Rackes said.
She added that the event has a very good history with security, with just two attendees in 2014 being arrested, and those on public-drunkenness charges.
Officer Tyson Hass, directing traffic at Taylor and Main streets, backed that up. “As far as I can tell, everyone has behaved (tonight),” he said.
Officers from the Bureau of Protective Services also provided security, as did private security professionals and staffers from the City Center Partnership, organizers said.