Many Calling For Tighter Security Following Recent Incidents At WTC Site
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Some New Yorkers say tighter security is needed at 1 World Trade Center after its head of security resigned following two incidents at the site.
Head of security David Velazquez stepped down on Friday, just days after three skydiving enthusiasts, who parachuted off the skyscraper in September, were arrested.
It also comes almost two weeks after authorities said a New Jersey teenager was able to sneak onto the site, climb to the top of the 1,776-foot tower and take pictures.
Many residents living near the World Trade Center site said they were not surprised to hear about the resignation, but said they want to see more than just a replacement.
“He’s the head of security so he should take responsibility for the actions of his crew,” Financial District resident Monique Britt told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.
“They need to tighten up security because, hopefully not, but something worse could happen than someone sneaking in.,” said Financial District resident Alejandra Gonzalez.
On Monday, four men surrendered to police on charges connected with a BASE jump off the building on Sept. 30 of last year, before Velazquez began.
Andrew Rossig, 33, James Brady, 32, Kyle Hartwell, 29, and Marco Markovich, 27, were arraigned on charges of burglary, reckless endangerment and misdemeanor jumping from a structure, police said.
Police said the four squeezed through a hole in a fence and climbed 104 flights of stairs before leaping from the tower. Surveillance video captured the men landing in front of the Goldman Sachs building.
“We found a hole in the fence between the wall and the fence and we just pushed it open, walked right in, saw a worker walk by, got right into the building,” Markvoich said earlier this week. “We got to the top. We didn’t see one person the entire way up from the ground all of the way to the roof.”
On Tuesday, authorities said two CNN employees were also arrested for allegedly trying to sneak into the site when they were stopped by a security officer.
Spokesman Jordan Barowitz said The Durst Organization took over security of the tower in January. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey controls the site and is responsible for security around the perimeter.
“They spent tens of millions of dollars in the security protocol for that site and obviously, it failed miserably,” said Manny Gomez with MG Security Services.
Velazquez couldn’t be reached for comment.
The NYPD devotes more than 200 officers, surveillance cameras and other technology to protect the perimeter of the site, while Port Authority police and private security agents guard the inside.
Ultimately, plans call for a $40 million system of barriers and checkpoints around the 16-acre trade center site.
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