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Expect more cameras at events, Menino says

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said the city is “well-protected” and large celebrations like those for July 4 will go on as planned, despite last month’s lethal Boston Marathon bombings.

People should expect more surveillance cameras than in the past.

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“What you’ll see at these events is more temporary cameras,” Menino said in an interview that aired Sunday on WCVB-TV’s On the Record. “That’s one thing that I’m advocating for: in large events, bring in some temporary cameras so you’re watching the event.”

Menino also talked about the apparent lack of communication between the federal government and local authorities prior the bombings. Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis testified last week that federal agents did not inform local authorities about the 2011 investigaton of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the attack, until after the bombings.

“Something fell through the cracks,” Menino said. “I don’t understand why they didn’t share it. I wasn’t privy to those meetings at all.”

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In March, Menino announced he would not run for reelection as mayor, opening the door to a bevy of ambitious candidates hoping to replace him. Menino has said he would not endorse anyone in the race and did not back a candidate in the interview with On the Record. He added that no candidate had broken out of the pack.

“There’s not frontrunner right now, they’re all bunched up,” the mayor said.

Host Janet Wu asked the mayor to offer a sentence on each of the candidates.

“There’s 26 candidates. We’ll be here for a half hour!” Menino joked.

After 5 p.m. on Friday, the Boston Election Department reported 24 candidates had applied for nomination papers to run for mayor.

Menino offered comments on a few of them.

He called Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley a “pretty formidable candidate” and said City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo is “a Latino kid who, I think, has a lot of potential in this race and we’ll see how far he goes.”

He indicated the candidacy of State Representative Martin J. Walsh, closely aligned with unions, would be “a real test for the building trades.”

Menino said nonprofit executive Charlotte Golar Richie was an “interesting person” and “would be a gamechanger because [she is] a black woman.”

City Councilor John R. Connolly declared his candidacy before Menino made his decision to retire. Connolly has focused his campaign on trying to be “critical of Boston Public Schools,” Menino said.

“I don’t think it’s a smart move at all,” he said. “I think people out there want positive campaigns.”

On the other big political race in Massachusetts, Menino said Senate hopeful Gabriel E. Gomez, Republican of Cohasset, was no Scott Brown.

“Scott Brown has something special about him, he attracted people,” Menino said.

He added Brown, the former US Senator, has “charisma that Gomez does not have.”

Gomez faces off with Democratic nominee Edward J. Markey on June 25 in the special election for US Senate.

The preliminary election for mayor is slated for Sept. 24. The two top vote-getters are set to go head-to-head on Nov. 5.

Joshua Miller can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.
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