Greensboro prepares for New Year’s Eve

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro police expect about 2,000 people to fill the South Elm Street area tomorrow night to celebrate New Year's Eve.

To accommodate the increased crowds, Lt. Kevin Moore says the Greensboro Police Department will deploy about 30 additional officers to the downtown area.

"We will have a lot of uniformed officers," he said. "They will be on bikes, they'll be on Segways. Then we'll have patrol units, and we will have some undercover officers and some unmarked vehicles downtown."

Lt. Moore says the undercover officers will be focusing on underage drinking violations and safety at clubs. But he says even those not at clubs should expect to encounter officers.

"There probably will be license checks across the county, DWI task force will be out, so please plan ahead of time how you're going to get home, if you're going to drink."

Just as police are preparing for a busy evening, so are downtown businesses. Stumble Stilskins owner, Chris Flathers, says it is one of the busiest nights of the year for his bar.

"It's a good crowd, it's a lot of close friends, almost like a family feel in here," Flathers said. "You'll get a lot more traffic; you'll see a lot of folks walking around downtown."

The owner of Pizzeria L'Italiano on South Elm Street, Rich San Filippo, also expects a busy night.

"It's just great, it's an abundance of people getting out to celebrate that live downtown, that work downtown, just all coming together for a festive night," he said.

San Filippo says his pizza shop will stay open as long as people are lining up for a slice and expects that to be until 3 or 4 a.m.

Depending on the amount of people downtown, Lt. Moore says portions of South Elm Street may be closed to traffic, or turned into a one way street.

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