Security top of mind for Macy's Fourth of July fireworks in New York City

Security is top of mind in New York City as millions gather Monday for the annual Macy's Fourth of July fireworks.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there are no specific and credible threats to the city's celebrations, but police are taking steps with law enforcement partners to ensure everyone's safety, CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported.

From the sky, to the water, streets and even rooftops, the NYPD is watching over the many marveling at the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks. Along with a visible presence, officers not in uniform are mixed in with the crowds.

"We're gonna have a significant presence here on site, both seen and unseen. So again, safety is paramount for us," said Will Coss, executive producer of the Macy's fireworks.

The dazzling display takes a year to plan and launches from barges spanning a mile on the East River from 23rd to 42nd Street. "We've got five barges with over 50,000 shells and effects this year," Coss said. "This year, we have a lot of new elements, a lot of elements with animation, a lot of color change."

"We've got whistling jellyfish, we've got howling wolves, we've got mushrooms and top hats, blinking smiley faces. It's gonna be a celebration this evening," Coss said. It's a spectacle that will light up the sky over Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

Some families, wanting a front-row seat, set up on a pier in Long Island City. Getting a good seat means coming out nice and early. "It's our first experience, so we try to get the best seats," said Geraldine Bonilla, a Piscataway, New Jersey resident.

"We got here about 10:30 today. We figured it'd be a pretty nice day," said Shayla Veasley, a Harlem resident. "We've been to see the ball drop and the Thanksgiving Day parade. So it's a thing to always get a good spot to get the best view in," said Camy Santacruz, a Teaneck, New Jersey resident.

Many said it's worth it to be able to finally celebrate with a sense of normalcy. "COVID was crazy. So family is very important to us, so these activities are things that we do together as a family, that we enjoy. Spend the whole day together as well, so we're in good company, so we don't mind waiting for a good spectacle," Santacruz said.

"A surreal experience probably, just seeing the fireworks for the first time in person," said Gracie Thomas, from Texas. "Seeing fireworks over water, I've never seen that before. So I'm excited," said Kendra Copenhaver, from Texas.

It's an annual tradition for the Alvarenga family from Central Islip. "Mostly for my little sisters. They like watching the fireworks. I like them as well, the fast ones, the explosive ones," Davis Alvarenga said. The NYPD was also reminding people to leave backpacks, large coolers, lawn chairs and alcohol at home.