Commenter “rustbucket” asks a slap-yourself-in-the-forehead obvious question about the massive manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that I don’t have a ready answer for:
One question I’ve seen posed, but as yet unanswered, where were the “tracking” K9 unit(s)? Seems to me to be a pretty good question. Anybody?
I watched the search for the Tsarnaev brothers on television from Thursday evening with reports of shots fired at MIT, through the shootout that left Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead, to the capture of Dzhokhar the following evening. I slept four hours Friday morning and didn’t miss much, flipping back and forth between CNN and Fox News on television while monitoring events on Twitter and catching the wire service reports as they came in via RSS feeds.
At no point do I recall seeing a K-9 unit in the massive call-out of heavily-armed local, state, and federal law enforcement officers. I’m not saying they weren’t there—they churned out several thousand cops to search for this one suspect so there must have been some K-9 units—but I’m questioning why K-9 units weren’t the primary resource leading of the operation.
After all, we know that K-9 units responded to the shootout that killed Tamerlan. We know that the police had easy access to Dzhokhar’s apartment and personal items from which to obtain a scent, and the exact location where he bailed out of the carjacked Mercedes SUV in which to launch the search for a bloody, smelly, wounded suspect who was also reeking of bomb chemical compounds and gunpowder. A blind police K-9 unit with a sinus infection should have been able to track down Dzhokhar Tsarnaev within half-an-hour of his short breakout.
But instead of using the K-9s they had at the scene where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped, authorities shut down an entire metropolitan region of millions, and called in hundreds of heavily armed and armored police officers with automatic weapons and armored vehicles to launch a slow, heavy-handed and expensive search of a 20-block area, that utterly failed to find the suspect.
It was a middle-aged white guy with no police experience who found the terrorist, just 1/2 mile from where the suspect ditched the car.
Where were the dogs, and why did the authorities fail to use them properly?