Boston’s top officer spoke in Philly on Tuesday about the lessons he learned from the deadly Boston Marathon explosion.
On April 15, two pressure cooker bombs exploded during the marathon, killing five people and injuring over 250 people. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis recounted the painful memories of that deadly day while speaking to more than a thousand officers during the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia.
“We all knew instantly it was terror related,” Davis said. “I received a call from my chief of the Department, Dan Linski. I could hear the radio crackling behind him on the telephone. He said, ‘We’re chasing these suspects right now in Watertown and they’re shooting at us and throwing bombs.’”
Davis also shared the lessons he learned during the terrifying ordeal.
“Technology was a real issue,” Davis said. “We had no cell phone use when we got to the command post.”
Davis says their satellite phones failed as well.
“The only thing we could rely on at the time was our own radio system,” he said. “That’s a lesson we need to take very seriously across the nation.”
Davis also says he learned how important it is for officers to have tourniquets to prevent victims from bleeding to death.
“The use of tourniquets is extremely important to our business,” he said. “We have equipped all Boston police officers with them.”
Commissioner Charles Ramsey says plans are underway to issue tourniquets to Philadelphia Police.
“We’re going to start issuing them,” Ramsey said. “We’re developing a policy now. We’ve purchased about 5000 of them. It will be for people who are in the field, working uniform patrol, special patrol and things like that.”
Boston Police also used social media to quickly correct misinformation on the bombings that was spreading through Twitter. Philadelphia Police already use social media sites, such as Pinterest, to help fight crime.
“Social media is a powerful tool that we’ve got to leverage and continue to use to keep people informed as to what’s going on,” Ramsey said.
Commissioner Davis also advised the police chiefs to build relationships with the media.
“It’s important to have a source of people in the media that you can talk to,” he said. “That you can trust.”