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Police and FBI working together is the least the public expects — not something to brag about

April 16, 2013 12:54 PM

This morning’s update to the press on the Boston Marathon offered little in the way of new details — or comfort for that matter. The central message from Governor Patrick and leading law enforcement officials continues to be how well the federal, state, and local police are working together to solve the bombing that left three dead and more than 150 injured. Are they actually concerned that the biggest public fear right now is that various law enforcement agencies will undermine the overall investigation by failing to keep one another informed of developments?

FBI Special Agent Rick DesLauriers hinted that someone might be in custody. Police Commissioner Edward Davis later said that no one is in custody. It is this and other questions related to the identities of suspects and motives for the bombing that are dominating the public conversation right. Press conferences with guarded officials are rarely informative. But this one was especially opaque. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren made her own unhelpful contribution when she told reporters that President Obama reached out to Massachusetts officials with promises of aid before they needed to appeal to him.

Any law enforcement agents who put ego ahead of national security learned their lessons on Sept, 11, 2001. The public expects that the FBI, State Police, and local police will work together selflessly at a time of great danger. The public also expects the president’s full attention following a major terror incident. God help us if this is news.

Lawrence Harmon is a Globe columnist.

ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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