Last Friday, Mayor Gary Christenson and Malden Police Lieutenant Kevin Molis joined our readers for a monthly Q&A about crime.
You can read a , but here are some highlights below:
Q: Beyond bringing more officers into the fold, what are some of the long-term strategies your administration is considering to combat crime in the city?
Lt. Molis: Strategies include the timely analysis of crime trends and the rapid deployment of resources on a priority basis, the enhanced use of technology, partnerships with other vital city agencies; DPW, Building, Board of Health and Fire Department to identify and address areas of neglect that have been shown to be a contributing factors in neighborhood crime.
Q: What have you found are some of those areas of neglect, Lieutenant?
Lt. Molis: Problem properties, problem locations where there are frequent calls for police service or identified for various code violations by the regulating agencies in the City.
Q: Are there a lot of problems with vacant properties, vis-a-vis crime in the city?
Lt. Molis: Generally no, but those that have been identified are being monitored on a regular basis.
Q: Will there be any additional funding for police officers in the upcoming budget? How many police officers will be funded?
Mayor Christenson: Besides the four officers and one cadet announced in February, I plan to add a police officer for Malden High School who will serve as the School Resource Officer. I also plan to immediately back-fill positions as they become vacant through retirement, etc.
Q: The city wants to install red light enforcement cameras once the state gives the OK. At $60,000-$90,000 per camera, how does the city expect to pay for those?
Mayor Christenson: My understanding of the way this works is that there would be no cost to the City. The vendor would install the equipment at their own expense. I am in full support of the program being implemented in Malden.
Q: Lieutenant, I would like to see costumer relation at the police department improved, any chance of that happening?
Lt. Molis: The concept of customer service is something that is not only required in the business world, but it also should be a priority in public service. We now have additional cadets staffing the front desk and the dispatch area which enhances "customer service" to visitors and phone callers to the police station. Additionally, part of the philosophy of having the "Beat Cop" in Malden Square is for citizen engagement.