By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The New Year’s Eve spectacular will draw thousands to downtown Baltimore on Sunday, and police in the city are gearing up to make sure everyone stays safe.

The bitter cold is certainly hitting the Baltimore area hard, but despite the nasty temperatures, large crowds will flock to the Inner Harbor to ring in the New Year.

The city is in the midst of one of its most-violent periods on record. Just weeks ago, a string of random attacks by teenagers at the Inner Harbor steered people away from downtown.

With the New Year’s Eve celebration being one of the biggest events in Baltimore, safety could not be more crucial.

For city police, that means all hands on deck.

“They will see increased uniform presence in the downtown area. There will also be a lot of increased enforcement that of course they won’t see,” Baltimore City Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said at a press conference.

Officials say with the late afternoon game for the Ravens, crowds downtown are expected to be more massive than usual for New Year’s Eve.

Police will use the CitiWatch cameras system and hone in on vehicle restrictions.

“I’m sure everyone understands why you don’t have to look too far around the country or the world to see that restricting vehicular access is a best practice,” Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.

Authorities say they’re doing everything they can to make sure Charm City’s primetime show is safe as can be.

Officials are urging people to arrive early Sunday and plan ahead with transportation and parking. Police ask anyone who notices anything suspicious to report it immediately.

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