On April 15th, nearly 200 people were hurt when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. By Friday, one suspect was dead and the other in custody.
How did this move from “no idea who did it,” to resolution – so quickly?
For decades law enforcement agencies talked about the need (to communicate better),” says former Assistant Secretary of Defense Tori Clark.
She says it goes back to a initiative pushed by the George W. Bush administration. “There was a big increase – almost a steroid-like jump – in the wake of 9-11.”
Technology was introduced letting the different law enforcement agencies communicate during times of disaster. Their radios could talk to each other. And, the territorial attitudes were pushed into the background.
Clark says, “A very good friend of mine from Boston, who’s been in law enforcement for years, says he’s never seen anything like this, and he grew up in the era when the FBI and the Boston police hated each other. Well, now they’ve been working together tremendously.”
It’s not perfect, but it’s much better.
“I don’t know if you ever get rid of territorialism completely, because maybe that’s just human nature,” Clark says, “but so many people in law enforcement said okay we’ve got to get over our differences.”
And, that’s how you solve a case of national magnitude in less than a week.