New York Post-March 24th 2013
Port Authority officials bought a surveillance system in August that could have detected the 16-year-old kid who got to the top of 1 World Trade Center last week — but it’s still sitting in its box in a back office because they didn’t want to pay extra for installation, a well-placed source told The Post.
The PA honcho in charge of the $4,000 security purchase for the top of America’s No. 1 terror target was furious that such a seemingly large amount of money was spent on the two-camera system and refused to spend any more to hook it up, the source said.
“He looked at me and my colleague and said, ‘Why did I spend $4,000 on this equipment when you could have gone to Home Depot and gotten something cheaper?’ ’’ said the source, a veteran electrician who worked on the project for the vendor, Angel Electronics.
“I was kind of stunned, because that’s a pretty bold statement to make considering we got the specs from them, and the Port Authority had it made to order.”
The 114-floor, 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, which is still under construction, was the site of a potentially disastrous security blunder last week when young daredevil Justin Casquejo managed to breeze past several layers of security to make it to the top floor of the tower.
At the top is a massive spire and antenna designed to control sensitive radio, television and cellphone traffic in the region, as well as signals used to maintain the smooth operation of area airports, tunnels and bridges.
The PA bought the “Two-Camera DVR Solution System” specifically to safeguard the tower, the source said. He added the cameras were to be installed quickly after the early August purchase; the spire that holds the antenna was hoisted into place in May.
PA spokesman Steve Coleman said the cameras “had no surveillance value whosoever” even if they had been installed because there was no infrastructure in place to get them working. “The building is still under construction, so the wiring for the network has not yet reached the 104th floor,” he said.