Boston Bombing Security Failure at Marathon

Where were the Police at the Finish Line of the Boston Marathon?

By Bill Honer

As I look at the videos of the finish line prior to the explosions and observe the two attackers moving with their deadly cargo, a fair question is “where were the police?”.

The finish line was likely the most congested area of the entire marathon. Their absence appears glaring, yet the media is not commenting on this. The failure of the police to observe and question two individuals carrying suspicious backpacks while walking along and seemingly paying no attention to the runners must be subjected to a thorough review.

A major breakdown in police security occurred. Had the attack taken place in a more remote area of the marathon, it would be easier to overlook this; after all, the police cannot be everywhere. However, the bombing transpired at the most congested location. An independent review needs to be conducted to identify deficiencies within the Boston Police Department and to strengthen security for future events.

Unfortunately, there are reasons why such an independent review may not be conducted. More than one hundred fifty persons were injured and lawsuits against the City of Boston are likely being prepared for filing at this moment. Another factor is the sensitivity of the police towards public criticism or negative articles in the media. While all government agencies dread such public exposure of their shortcomings, none is more resistant to such public scrutiny than the police.

This was not a case of technological error. The police simply needed “feet on the street” at a vulnerable location. A failure of this magnitude, if widely publicized, could reduce public confidence in a major institution and lead to demands for significant improvements. Given the desire of the corporate media to protect the fabric of critical institutions in American society, this debacle will likely receive less than the full attention it deserves. .

What happened? Did the security design require police officers to be present in the area where the bombs were deposited? If so, were they away having coffee? Whether the result of a poor design or a lapse in judgment by specific officers to leave their post, the police were simply not where they needed to be.

At the moment, there is a great deal of self-congratulation among law enforcement for a job well done in the investigation of tracking down the perpetrators. Given the swift progress made, along with the achievement of capturing one suspect alive, the officers involved have every right to take pride in their performance. However, more effective performance by the police in securing the marathon would have eliminated the need for not only the investigation, but for the loss of life and injuries sustained by so many.

Readers may wish to review the videos and look for the police presence, or tragically in this case, its absence.


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