Local Law Enforcement Learn from Beltway Sniper Investigation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/24/02 - East Texas

Local Law Enforcement Learn from Beltway Sniper Investigation

   Tyler Police officers and agencies around East Texas stay plugged in to the serial sniper investigation. It's "on the job" training they hope to never encounter, but a real life lesson they must study.

   "That will be the thing to find out how they dealt with all the amounts of leads and information coming in and making sure they were followed up on.," says Chief Gary Swindle.

    Tyler Police Chief Swindle points to a joint effort by local, state and federal agencies as a key component in the D.C. area catching their sniper suspects.

   "I can see that something like this was to happen in Tyler and the East Texas are how the units would pull together," Swindle continues.

   "I think that what we've seen in this investigation is an excellent example of how agencies can work together and utilize the strengths of the various departments," says Supervisory Special Agent Peter Galbraith, FBI.

   Including the media from television to the Internet. Sheriff J.B. Smith believes the sniper case proves the media is a resource no law enforcement agency can over look.

   "Often times the media gets a bad wrap and I am quick to criticize just like the rest," says Sheriff J.B. Smith. "But this is an instance when the media was probably the leading force in getting the people in custody as quickly as they did."

   Smith also sees a lesson in the accuracy of racial profiling.

   "Racial profiling doesn't work," says Smith. "They guessed it to be a male in his late 20's early 30's that was Caucasian in fact it wasn't."

   As the case continues to unfold, officers expect to extract more from the sniper investigation, learning what did and didn't work to apply to catching criminals in East Texas.

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