Fans of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade who come to see the soaring SpongeBob and Snoopy balloons may get a far less heartwarming sight this year: giant dump trucks filled with sand.
More than 80 city sanitation trucks will be used at intersections and other strategic spots along the 2 ½ mile parade route to create an imposing physical barrier to terror. The trucks weigh about 16 tons empty and up to twice that with sand.
“You can ram a New York City Sanitation Department sand truck with a lot of things, but you’re not going to move it,” said John Miller, the New York Police Department’s top counterterrorism official.
While the trucks have been used like this before – most recently to protect Trump Tower – the New York Police Department says they will play a bigger role at this year’s parade in the wake of the cargo truck attack in Nice, France, that killed more than 80 people and a recent posting in an English-language Islamic State magazine that called the parade “an excellent target.”