Today's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a huge event for hundreds of thousands of people, and millions more watch the parade from their homes. But given the international climate of recent terror attacks, the NYPD has been working overtime to keep the parade safe. To that end, they've implemented a new technique: "blocker cars." So what are blocker cars?
What is a Blocker Car?
You probably remember that in July, there was a major terrorist attack in Nice, France. That attack killed 86 people and injured many more. What made the attack so deadly was the manner in which the attack was carried out: a large truck was driven through the crowd.
This type of attack is nearly impossible to pre-identify, because unlike other attacks, it doesn't involve weapons, explosives, or any other regulated materiel. The only option is to stop it before it occurs.
That's where "blocker cars", "blocker trucks", or "blocker vehicles" come in.
These are vehicles -- generally trucks, not cars -- that are placed at intersections to stop large trucks from driving into crowds. For the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the NYPD is employing hundreds of these trucks at important cross-streets.
What makes these trucks different from any other vehicles? A standard truck would not necessarily be able to block an 18 wheeler or tractor truck at speed. So what the NYPD does is use dump trucks with up to 15+ tons of sand. The sand weighs the truck down and keeps it in place even in the event of a charging huge truck.
Blocker Cars and Security Post Nice
The ISIS magazine, "Inspire", recently released an issue that suggested a truck attack, and it mentioned the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by name. Recently, a man was arrested in New York for allegedly trying to join ISIS and plotting such an attack, although it is unclear how far he got in the plotting.