The Elite SWAT Team That Caught Boston Marathon Bomber? It’s Being Disbanded

(Sean Murphy/Massachusetts State Police via AP, File)
AP featured image
FILE – In this April 19, 2013 photo provided by the Massachusetts State Police, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, with the red dot of a sniper rifle laser sight on his head, emerges from a boat at the time of his capture by law enforcement authorities in Watertown, Mass. On Friday, May 15, 2015, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death by lethal injection for the 2013 Boston Marathon terror attack. (Sean Murphy/Massachusetts State Police via AP, File)

The elite SWAT team that in 2013 captured Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as the world watched — after brother Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police — is set to be disbanded.

As reported by Fox News, former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told “Fox and Friends” he’s worried about how the elimination of the highly-trained team will impact the fight against counterterrorism.

“The thing I worry about is the special expertise that these officers have in the SWAT team. They got set up a special training facility while I was the commissioner to do entries into subway cars, the ‘T’ as we call it here.

So they did have the ability and the knowledge of the underground systems that the other SWAT teams now are going to have to get up on to do the job properly so it does affect operations.”

As noted by Fox, the famed SWAT team has not been used in recent years and has been reduced to five or six officers. The decision to disband the team, Fox said, came “after careful consideration of the use of Transit Police Department’s (TPD) resources, as Boston 25 News reported, citing Transit Police’s Superintendent Richard Sullivan.”

Davis, while concerned, said he understands the decision.


“This is a difficult time and there’s a lot of hard decisions that are going to be made so I support the chief’s decision because he has to make the call. But, this is a very well-respected team, a team that has specialized skills.”

“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade shared his concerns with Davis about the team’s demise, and asked the former police commissioner if the threat of domestic terrorism has diminished in the years since the 2013 bombing that left three people dead and more than 260 injured — 17 of whom lost at least one limb. To the contrary, Davis said.

“No, it has not. If anything, the information I’m getting from sources in high levels of law enforcement is that the domestic terror threat is worse now than it’s ever been.

We certainly have problems on the international front. Domestic terrorism is going up. There’s a lot of unrest in the country. It’s a very difficult time.”

Ironically, as my RedState colleague Kira Davis reported Friday, an appeals court last week overturned Tsarnaev’s death sentence, a decision that has reopened a deep wound in a city still traumatized by the bombing at the finish line of America’s most famous marathon.

But on Sunday, as I reported, Donald Trump tweeted that “the federal government must again seek the death penalty” against the bomber.


Twitterers expressed strong emotions upon hearing the news.

Even “Jordana,” who apparently supports the “Defund the Police” movement, is opposed to disbanding the SWAT team.


I hesitate to pile on Boston city officials who were responsible for putting the famed SWAT team on the chopping block, given that I’m not privy to their comprehensive law enforcement needs, the resources available, nor the options from which they were forced to choose.

That said, I will say that at the very least, the timing of the announcement — given the tossing out of Tsarnaev’s death sentence, not to mention the “peaceful rioting” still occurring on a nightly basis in various cities across the country — was tone-deaf as can be.


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