A few days after a jet skier swam to shore and breached the security perimeter of JFK airport here by climbing a fence, reports of another security lapse has been reported.
The New York Post on August 16 reported that it had obtained a secret memo describing an unsecured gate on the airport property. The gate protects a main jet fuel supply line into the airport, the report said.
The gate “was left vulnerable because a security camera was either malfunctioning or not designed to pick up the image,” according the New York Post report.
The report includes quotes from Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye and Paul Nunziato, president of the Port Authority Police Department labor union (the PBA) Port Authority Police Benevolent Association.
However, on Aug. 17, the labor union issued a statement clarifying Nunziato’s remarks.
In that statement, Nunziato called the New York Post report “inaccurate” and said “there has been some misunderstanding of the terms utilized in reports concerning a security gate at JFK which was noted in a report as being unsecured … the gate in question was NOT unlocked and was NOT reported to be unlocked. This same information was also conveyed to the Post by the Port Authority.”
“The Post’s portrayal that I was at odds with Executive Director Patrick Foye’s comment regarding the report is not correct,” the statement continued.
The statement said that PBA “has repeatedly raised concerns regarding the effectiveness of the Port Authority’s Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS), procured and installed under the previous administration of former executive director Christopher Ward. Despite concerns over the security determinations made by the prior administration, Nunziato stressed: “the Port Authority’s current leadership of Chairman David Sampson, Vice Chairman Scott Rechler, Executive Director Patrick Foye and Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni are clearly dedicated to improving Port Authority policing and security issues and we look forward to continuing to work with them toward achieving those goals.”
The Post report says that since the jet skier breached the security perimeter, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has “beefed up patrols and added a round-the-clock officer to the room where the fence is monitored by security guards.