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7 New Public Safety Initiatives

Mayor Gary Christenson announced a series of initiatives that will further assist our law enforcement officials to help prevent crime and improve public safety.

Dear Malden Residents,

The recent unrelated acts of violence serve to remind us that the issue of public
safety needs our constant attention. I want to thank the Malden Police
Department and other law enforcement agencies for working diligently to solve
the recent crimes that have negatively impacted our city. I also want to
re-assure you that the safety of our residents and businesses is a priority for
me. From meeting weekly with Police Department officials to holding eight public
safety awareness meetings around the city, I am working closely with the City
Council to make sure that our community is safe. This week I announced a series
of initiatives that will further assist our law enforcement officials to help
prevent crime and improve public safety. They are as follows:

1.    Hire additional Police Officers
I remain committed to increasing the number of police officers. Currently, we have 74 Patrol Officers and we are in the process of hiring 4 additional officers which will bring us to 78. Tonight, I propose adding 3 more that will result in a total of 81 police officers. The funding will come from citywide positions in the budget that have yet to be filled.



2.    Assign more Officers to the Anti-Crime Unit
This Unit was formed in 2010 and has been tasked with working in the Malden Center Train Station area and surrounding neighborhoods primarily during the evening hours. Currently, there are 3 officers assigned to this Unit. I propose the use of overtime funding to assign 2 additional officers to this group resulting in a
5-member Unit.  



3.    Continue surveillance camera expansion
Surveillance Cameras are an effective technique to detect and deter criminal activity. The cameras provide another means for Police Officers to have a visible presence in certain areas of the City. We presently have 18 cameras around the city. I want to expand this number by adding 12 more which will give us a total of 30 surveillance cameras. The cost of the High Definition cameras which can pan,
tilt, and zoom is estimated at $5,000 per unit. I propose that the total
purchase price of $60,000 be funded through the Capital Improvement Program
(CIP) that I will forward to the City Council in September-October.  



4.    Purchase additional License Plate Readers
License Plate Readers can rapidly identify and process thousands of license plates
compared to manual checks that might only be in the hundreds. Presently, we have 5 stationary readers and 3 in our police cruisers. I want to purchase an
additional 2 stationary readers and one more to be installed in our police
cruisers. The cost per unit is estimated at $20,000. I propose that the total
cost of $60,000 be funded through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that I
will forward to the City Council in September-October. 



5.    Purchase more unmarked cars
Unmarked vehicles allow police officers the considerable advantage of patrolling areas and carrying out surveillance efforts while not being seen. I want to purchase 2 additional vehicles. The cost per vehicle is estimated at $15,000. I propose that the total cost of $30,000 be funded through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that I will forward to the City Council in
September-October.



6.    Install a secure, high performance wireless broadband network
This private network owned, operated and managed by the Malden Police Department would significantly enhance both emergency and normal daily public safety operations. Such a network would:  



·         stabilize and improve the performance of  the current  Police radio system and extend its useful life;  

·         expand  high performance  video surveillance into new areas of the City
while retaining the existing deployed cameras;  

·         provide reliable, HD quality video images that will improve investigation and crime reduction capabilities; and  

·         become a platform for importing non-City video feeds from schools, retail centers, and other locations into the 911 center. This would not only assist with
investigations, but also improve emergency and incident responses. 



I propose that the cost for installing and maintaining this network, once it’s
finalized, be funded through the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that I will
forward to the City Council in September-October.



7.    Reopen Residential Permit Parking Program
The benefits that such a program offers would assist in promoting public safety by preventing unwanted vehicles on city streets. Permit parking stickers would be free for those already paying excise taxes. What this program would allow us to do is collect taxes from those residents not currently paying their fair share. These new monies would then be dedicated to hiring additional Police Officers. I have asked Councillor Kinnon as the City Council’s Public Safety Chairman to begin holding hearings on this initiative.  



More importantly than any of the initiatives outlined above is the fact that we need your help. Please notify the Police Department if you see or hear about
anything that is suspicious. In the meantime, always feel free to contact me
with any questions at 781-397-7000, option 6 or mayor@cityofmalden.org

Sincerely,

GARY CHRISTENSON

Mayor of Malden

Wednesday, August 29, 2012



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