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April 20, 2013

Area lawmen: Manhunt was outstanding police work

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — Local law enforcement officials reflected Friday afternoon as the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects reached its conclusion.

After new photos of the two suspects were released Thursday, one was killed while being pursued by police. The second suspect was captured Friday evening.

“It’s tragic” that so many innocent civilians were killed or wounded in the bombing Monday, Oneonta Police Chief Dennis Nayor said. He also expressed sorrow for the police officers killed or wounded in the events. “It’s shameful that people can perpetrate such destructive acts.”

The law enforcement operation represented “a well-coordinated effort by state, federal and local policy agencies,” he said. “It’s sad the way the world has become with more and more innocent people being killed.”

He was hopeful that anyone wanting to do something like this will see, when everyone is working together they will be caught.

He has been following the events since the minute the bombing occurred because as first responders “it’s something we might be called to do, if a similar event occurs nearby.

“When something happens where people are injured, it affects us all,” he said.

However the response from everyone who had a role in the events, whether helping the injured, or working to catch the suspects shows the “goodness in people,” he said.

“Everyone is working together,” he said, whether it’s helping the injured or bringing the alleged perpetrators to justice.

Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills said he was impressed by how quickly the suspects were identified. He sent a memo out to his patrols telling them to be alert when one of the suspects was on the loose. “You never know how far people can get.”

Mills, who serves on the Board of the United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties, said the events reminded him of the potential for problems when a lot of people get together.  A local run is being sponsored in Otsego County later this month to benefit the organization. In light of the recent events, it was especially important take certain precautions, he said. He said he has made plans with a private ambulance operator and Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. to discuss the situation.

“I’m not expecting any problems whatsoever, but this was a reminder that bad things can happen,” he said, adding that it’s important to provide sufficient police presence and adequate medical support, he said.

Devlin said, “every time we have a large event in the county, we coordinate and plan with different agencies.” If this had been 15 or 20 years ago, “we wouldn’t have done these things, but it’s normal business now,” he said. “We are always evaluating and reevaluate things.”

While the death and injuries surrounding the bombing and subsequent events has been “horrible,” the identification of the subjects and the subsequent manhunt represents good investigative work, he said. But with so many different agencies working together, especially after 9/11, that’s not unexpected, he said.