DOWNTOWN — A New Jersey State Police supervisor has been chosen to protect the 1 World Trade Center following a string of security breaches, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Kevin Fowler, a 27-year veteran and a major in the State Police, was selected by the Durst Organization to replace David Velazquez, a former FBI official who was forced out as private security chief at 1 World Trade Center.
The Durst Organization is the real estate firm in charge of providing private security at 1 World Trade Center. The Port Authority also provides police protection at the 16-acre former site of the collapsed Twin Towers.
The 49-year-old Fowler, who lists on his LinkedIn page that he was a "principal security planner" for February's Super Bowl, believes working closely with the Port Authority and the NYPD will be pivotal to protecting what has become one of the nation's top targets for terrorists and pranksters.
“If we are going to be successful we need to work as a team and cannot work in independent silos,” he said. “We need to be reading from the same sheet music.”
Fowler, who starts the job next month, said he had no plans to shake up the ways things are done at the site until he has had an opportunity to sit down with officials from Durst and various law enforcement agencies.
He beat out a list of candidates including former FBI officials with global security backgrounds, security officials at several Wall Street banks and media companies and other present and retired NYPD and federal law enforcement officials.
“We met with a number of very well qualified candidates and were impressed by the breadth and diversity of Mr. Fowler’s management experience and that he would be good fit for 1 World Trade Center," Durst spokesman Jordan Barowitz said.
Fowler will work directly under Edward Kahrer, the Durst director of security and a former head of the FBI’s Newark office.
Last September, three base jumpers parachuted from the 104th floor of the skyscraper after slipping onto the grounds. Four men, including an ironworker assigned to the site, have been charged in the stunt.
Three months ago, Justin Casquejo, a 16-year-old from New Jersey, was arrested after managing to get to the roof of the 1,776-foot tower.
That escapade was followed by the arrest of two CNN producers for trespassing after they tried to break into the site in broad daylight.
Last month, the Port Authority announced that another agency, Allied Barton, a firm that provided unarmed security at metro-area airports, will be added to the Trade Center site.
Allied Barton presently has a four-year, $221 million contract for the airports and will be given an additional $60 million to enhance security at the WTC.
The PA is hoping that new leadership and enhanced private security will stem the breaches and bad publicity as the site transitions from a construction zone to having traditional public access to business and the new 9/11 Museum complex.