By Celeste Katz, Michele McPhee and Thomas Zambito Daily News Staff Writers
THE SHOCKING security breaches at the Republican National Convention were somewhat inevitable, law enforcement officials conceded yesterday.
With no photos or a more high-tech security device on convention credentials, it was far too easy for uninvited guests to crash the GOPers’ party.
“If someone’s credentialed, we have no way of knowing at the NYPD checkpoints if the credential was properly issued or not,” a law enforcement official told the Daily News.
On the first three days of the convention, protesters managed to snag legitimate credentials and enter Madison Square Garden to cause disruptions.
Then on the eve of President Bush’s speech, a Daily News reporter pulled off the same feat – entering Wednesday night’s event with a pass given to him by a Republican delegate.
The security snafus led to a shouting match yesterday between the Secret Service and the convention’s organizers, The News has learned.
“The Secret Service was hammering” the Republican National Committee official, the law enforcement official said.
Secret Service officials could not confirm the shouting match.
But a spokeswoman for the Secret Service, Ann Roman, said even had there been photos on the badges, “there’s still a possibility that that person [could be] disruptive.”
Delegates were forced to show identification and pass through metal detectors.
Private security experts say more could be done to keep out the unwanted, but the solution wouldn’t come cheap.
“We are led to feel because of the large police presence that it’s impenetrable,” said Alan Schissel, the president of New York-based Integrated Security Services. “But nothing’s perfect. This is not a police state. People can get lazy or complacent.”