Police expect as many as 2,000 people will pack the plaza in the minutes before midnight to count down to the New Year.

Ashland police officers will be out in force on New Year's Eve to help curb drunken driving and rowdy revelry in the plaza.

"There's usually just a large influx of people in the plaza area," said Lt. Corey Falls with the Ashland Police Department. "That's our only concern, just the safety of a large number of people in that space."

Police expect as many as 2,000 people will pack the plaza in the minutes before midnight to count down to the New Year, Falls said Tuesday. After midnight, the crowd usually disperses, he said.

The department doesn't plan to set up drunken driving checkpoints, but will have more officers on patrol Thursday night, Falls said.

"We don't want people to drink and drive and we don't want underage drinking going on. Just whatever you do, do it in moderation and have a good time," he said.

Staff writer Hannah Guzik can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.