Transcript: Q&A with Rep. Candice Miller on the Boston Marathon bombings before the House Committee on Homeland Security – May 9, 2013

Partial transcript of Q&A with Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) on the Boston Marathon bombings before the House Committee on Homeland Security on May 9, 2013:

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.):
…One of the things that Sen. Lieberman mentioned when you said the battlefield, you mentioned that Christmas Day bomber and I just pick up on that because I’m from Detroit and we are facing a new type of enemy now – something that our country has not faced in the past, who see the battlefield asymmetrically, who see the battlefield in a different way…

My question today would be about how as we go forward how we can better resource and utilize existing resources for our first responders not only at 9/11 when we remember it was the first responders who responded, not really the military. In this case, of course, we had the National Guard that were a force multiplier for you. And I think that in these days of economic times perhaps there’s a way – and I would ask for some comments on that – how did the National Guard actually meld into…what you were doing there? I ask that because I’m wondering if there’s a way as we’re resourcing the National Guard, whose role really has changed and expanded since 9/11, and we all have National Guard units in every state, about doing perhaps joint training exercises with our first responders – all kinds of various things that they may be able to utilize and that you could utilize as well…

Ed Davis, Boston Police Commissioner:
I don’t know what the national standard is, but what I can tell you in the city of Boston and throughout Massachusetts the National Guard has been at the table for all of our training exercises back to just after 9/11.

One of the big roles that they played immediately after was the CBRN detection and having units that could come in and monitor to make sure there was no chemicals or other things that we had to be concerned about the environment. But the day of the marathon, they were an integral part of our preparation. They had already been deployed prior to the bombing to assist us in our traffic control and security operations. So there were several hundred National Guard people at the scene, and the general came right into the command post – one of the first people to arrive – he was tremendously helpful.

By the end of the day, we had over 1,500 troops available to us, assisting our officers in securing, as I’ve described, the most complex crime scene we’ve ever processed in the city of Boston. And those troops stayed on the ground for a seven-day period until that scene was shut down.

But more than perimeter security, they arrived at the scene of the pursuit and brought equipment in and at one point we needed three of our SWAT teams to deploy out to Dartmouth, Massachusetts and they brought in helicopters to make that happen. Black hawks came in and they took the teams out. State police had helicopters but they were no where as near as large as what we needed to move people around. So General [Scott] Rice played a very critical role in not only preparation and prevention but also response after the incident happened.

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2 Comments on “Transcript: Q&A with Rep. Candice Miller on the Boston Marathon bombings before the House Committee on Homeland Security – May 9, 2013

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