For all of my questioning about the way that the search for the Marathon bomber was handled, I do need to say that the cops had a difficult job. While I wonder why none of them ever questioned the constitutionality of the searches, and why they stopped and ID'd people who were OBVIOUSLY not the man they were looking for, apparently most residents felt that the officers were polite and decent.
This was, for all of them, a difficult and stressful job. Not one that most of us would have volunteered to do. There is a reason they get paid. The men who actually handcuffed the bomber had to be scared spitless that he would detonate himself as they approached. Big ball those guys have.
And yes, the cops flocked to the scene of every possible incident, as cops are wont to do. Yes, it looks like they all just want to "get in on the action"...and maybe that is a part of it. But remember, they do run TOWARDS the danger. Part of the way they react is their training. And sadly, their training for certain scenarios doesn't always make sense, nor do they always use common sense.
These police officers, even with their unconstitutional actions and with their sometimes foolish approach to the way they handled people...these men and women were still doing their level best to protect the citizens under their watch. They may have made mistakes and forgotten the Constitution, and we get the opportunity to judge them from the safety of our homes while they are out there doing their job. This does not excuse things, but it does go a ways to explaining it.
And again, while I and others may criticize them, and that criticism may be merited...and even useful.....These police officers did put themselves in harms way. They may not like the fact that we look from afar and criticize(or the fact that the criticism is sometimes dead on), but that does not mean that their work is not appreciated.
And they do deserve our thanks.
As George Orwell said:
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do us harm"