AUGUSTA, Maine — A state police detective has been in Boston assisting officials with the investigation into the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon, and Maine State Police has provided intelligence to investigators when asked, according to Col. Robert A. Williams, head of the state police.
“We have a person who’s involved in the investigation who’s down in Boston,” Williams said Friday. “They’re down there because of the technological expertise they have.”
Williams declined to name the person or his or her specific expertise to avoid possibly compromising the investigation.
Maine State Police operates what’s known as a fusion center — a new requirement since the Sept. 11 attacks intended to standardize the sharing of information between states. The centers are responsible for handling requests from their partners in other agencies.
Williams also declined to specify the nature of the work Maine’s fusion center was doing as part of the investigation, and said the center could work on “anything and everything.”
The center could be called on by an out-of-state agency to provide information about a car from Maine and its owner, or the center could be asked to analyze and condense bulk information — 100 pages of phone logs, say — into a few pages, to be used by investigators.
“As late as of last night, around 11 p.m., we were providing information to the investigators in Boston that they had requested,” Williams said.
“We have no idea, after we conclude our work and give it back to the investigators in Boston, if it’s of any value to them,” Williams said. “We could have provided a key piece of information, or we could have worked for a week on it and they not use any of it. That’s just the nature of it.”
Williams didn’t have the number of requests fielded as part of the Boston investigation or the average number of requests per week from out-of-state organizations, but he said the center gets out-of-state requests “regularly” — two or three times a week.
“It’s extremely important to the investigators — you get 100 pieces of information and put it together and you have something to work with,” he said.
Maine’s fusion center, known as the Maine Information and Analysis Center, employs a lieutenant, a sergeant, three detectives, three analysts and one full-time employee from Department of Homeland Security. Other employees in the state police and in other departments assist part-time.