Sleeping WTC guard an ‘embarrassment’: Bratton

By Kirstan Conley, Kathryn Cusma and Bruce Golding New York Post

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton on Sunday blasted the recent string of shocking security lapses at the World Trade Center and called The Post’s exclusive photo of a sleeping guard there an “extraordinary embarrassment” for the Durst Organization property-management firm.

“You’ll see security levels enhanced significantly on that site,” Bratton vowed on WABC Channel 7′s Up Close with Diana Williams.

Bratton also said cops were searching for additional accomplices who may have helped three BASE jumpers parachute from the Freedom Tower last year, denying the men’s claims that they sneaked onto the site and hiked to the top of the nearly finished building.

“They didn’t walk up. They had assistance getting in and out of there, and we’re continuing our investigations as to who helped them get up there,” Bratton said.

The city’s top cop said he hoped a judge would throw the book at the daredevils, who were busted last week on charges including burglary and trespassing.

“They were satisfying their own need for attention and excitement at the public expense,” he said.

“Too many people jumped out of that building on 9/11, I have no sympathy for them.”

Asked about the 16-year-old New Jersey boy who climbed onto the tower’s iconic spire early March 16 — as reported exclusively by The Post — Bratton said” “His parents better straighten that kid out. He has problems.”

Also Sunday, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) demanded that the Homeland Security Department immediately review the Port Authority’s security plan for Ground Zero, which he said thrill-seekers were using as their “personal playground.”

“The buck stops at (the) PA. They’re the public authority in charge of this. I’m holding them responsible,” Schumer said during a news conference at the site.

In a prepared statement, Port Authority Chief Security Officer Joseph Dunne said: “The recent security lapses at the World Trade Center construction site are unacceptable, and the Port Authority and the Durst Organization have taken significant steps to address them.”

The two recently reported breaches were unrelated, and each involved different means of accessing the site,” Dunne added.

“The Port Authority and other stakeholders will continue to enhance our extensive efforts to ensure world-class security as we transition from a construction site to an operating facility.”

A spokesman for the Durst Organization said Dunne’s statement would also serve as the company’s response.

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