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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.

But Rossig said the jumpers got in simply by walking through a gap in a fence, echoing an account the Port Authority says Casquejo gave police about what he did. Casquejo, of Weehawken, N.J., faces a misdemeanor trespassing charge.