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Drones over Boston: Police chief says surveillance in the sky a ‘great idea’ after marathon bombing

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Boston's police commissioner called on Wednesday for more cameras, more surveillance and even drones in the aftermath of the April 15 marathon bombings that killed three and injured dozens.

"Drones are a great idea," said police Commissioner Edward Davis in a Boston Herald report. "I don't know that would be the first place I'd invest money, but certainly to cover an event like this, and have an eye in the sky that would be much cheaper to run than a helicopter is a really good idea."

Commissioner Davis' comments come just as the bombing's youngest victims, 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, was put to rest in private funeral ceremonies.

Surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarvaev, 19, is recovering in a Boston hospital, and on Tuesday his condition was upgraded to fair, various media reported. His brother and fellow terrorist suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police.

Boston is looking at a myriad of ways to tighten security in the city.

"We need to harden our target here," Commissioner Davis said in the Herald. "We need to make sure terrorists understand that if they're thinking about coming here, we have certain things in place that would make that not a good idea."

In addition to the deployment of reconnaissance drones over next year's marathon, the chief called for more street surveillance that could be conducted at eye level — including cameras. And while City Council President Stephen Murphy expressed favor for the bolstered camera presence, at least one privacy rights advocate scoffed.

"The record of cameras catching terrorists has really been pretty lousy," said Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, in the Herald. "If in fact they caught these guys through the cameras, it's pretty much the first time."

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