NEW YORK — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey purchased a two-camera video surveillance system in August for One World Trade Center but it has sat unopened because the agency wasn’t willing to pay for installation, the New York Post reported.
The revelation comes after a 16-year-old boy managed to evade security at the Freedom Tower in the middle of the night and climb to the top, where he took pictures, prompting an investigation into surveillance failures.
The Post cited an unnamed source who said a top Port Authority official fumed at the $4,000 cost for the two-camera system and refused to spend any more funds to have it installed.
“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?’” the source told the Post.
“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 Post also recently reported Freedom Tower does not have a single operational surveillance camera inside. The report also cited a security source who said the building’s video system “won’t be operational until the building opens later this year.”
Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman told the Post the cameras “had no surveillance value whatsoever” 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.
The incident has prompted calls for greater security measures at the site, and talk of the possibility of moving authority for the building’s security from the Port Authority to the New York Police Department.