City, Public Safety Officials Meet at Beebe School

Mayor Gary Chirstenson promises new changes in the city's response to crime in "coming weeks."

City and public safety officials met with residents of Ward 3 at Beebe School Monday night, the first of numerous ward-by-ward meetings planned to discuss crime in the city.

Mayor Gary Christenson, Ward 3 councilor John Matheson, Malden Police Chief James Holland and police Lt. Kevin Molis offered some common sense safety advice for residents, and answered questions from those in attendance.

The event was also broadcast on Malden Access Television.


Tips from the professionals:

Note: Check out our to safeguard against home invasion. 

Lt. Molis, works with a plainclothes operation at the department, challenged residents to first put themselves in the mind of a criminal, and start making changes accordingly.

“Ask: 'if I was going to break into my house, how would (I) do it?” he said. “Would my house be vulnerable?”

Molis cited some ways of reducing the likelihood of a burglary, including improved lighting and reducing anything in your yard that reduces visibility from the street, like landscaping.

Officials also suggested residents buy burglar alarms, if they can afford them. Christenson and Matheson indicated the city was in the preliminary stages of working with manufacturers to brainstorm ways of making the technology more affordable for Malden homeowners later this year.

Most importantly, officials emphasized the golden rule of citizen vigilance: if you see something suspicious, call the police.

“If you see someone looking into cars, someone walking onto property, definitely call for something like that,” Chief Holland said when asked to describe suspicious activity rising to a 911 call.

“Just a person walking down the street? I dunno about that, but if he goes back up and down the street, yes.”


Leaders weigh in

The mayor told those in attendance to see “some changes” from city hall in “the coming weeks” about crime and policing.

Christenson said he would be pushing for more police officers during the city's upcoming budget process.

“We can't run with the number of (police) we have for a city of 60,000 people,” he said.

Funding to fix street lights is also on the agenda, Matheson said. 

Raj January 31, 2012 at 01:56 PM
So the best advice they could offer for residents is "buy burglar alarms if they can afford it..." thanks for that! As for calling 911 for “Just a person walking down the street? I dunno about that, but if he goes back up and down the street, yes.” How about a special number to call to report suspicious activity that may not warrant 911 attention? There are all sorts of vagrants that roam up and down my street constantly and I'd hate to call 911 for all of them, but some are very suspicious...what about Crime Watch stickers or some on foot beat patrols?
David Marsters January 31, 2012 at 03:33 PM
In regards to fixing the street lighting cal the electric co they are the one who maintain them. When I was a cop in Malden, we had a liitle black notebook to write down what we did during our shift and that included writing down where lights were out and call them into dispatch and dispatch would call electric co to fix same. Most of the time the lights would be fixed the next day.
Chris Caesar January 31, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Raj, you can always call (781) 397-7171, the PD's main line, to report such a thing. There also a number of ways to report non-emergency tips in our "7 things" article about crime prevention.
AnnieOMalden January 31, 2012 at 06:08 PM
David: I called the T over two weeks ago to report how many lights out at the Malden station. Today I called for an update as nothing has been done. According to them, someone came out and decided the bus stop area is "well lit" although the light is out at the top of the handicapped ramp and more than half of the lamps are out on the park area. Does the city maintain that park area? Across the street along the Bank of America building has about 3 lights out including the one meant to shine on the American flag on the corner. How about the Mayor's task force (pick one) take a walk around the T station when it gets dark to see (no pun) how poorly lit things are. The "broken windows" approach also means well lit streets and parking lots!
Chris Caesar January 31, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Is the city responsible for lights at the T stop? I think the MBTA may have jurisdiction.
AnnieOMalden January 31, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Chris: I feel they are as well yet the woman I spoke to questioned whether or not they had jurisdiction over the "park" area which is on their property. From what she could tell, their only interest is in the bus stop area. When I mentioned the light over the handicapped ramp she said she would note that in this updated report. There are many people responsible for the poor lighting in this area.
Ed January 31, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I wonder what the changes in the city's response to crime will be and if the changes will be visible on the street or only behind closed doors. I hope they are changes on the street to deter these thugs from doing what they have been doing, it seems like whenever they want to do it.
howard mcgowan January 31, 2012 at 07:58 PM
It has not been noted that the MBTA PROPERTY (both and Oak Grove and Malden Commuter and Orange Line) although mbta property and mbta resposibility it is not ataquately patroled. yes the Chief talks to the counterparts but no action. I was led to believe the over$ 2,000,000 cost are spent by the City of Malden for fire and police protection at Oak Grove Parking lot alone. This was a make "a feel good Meeting" so it was not the place for a major discussion Those with concerns and a need to make their MBTA issues heard shoud Attend the February MBTA Public Meeting on the 16th starting 6 pm i nCity Council chamberss AS a side bar the complaint on the Elmwood was addressed but in their defense it is the only convenient store on the side of t station and the only place in Malden to buy MBTA passes\ We who are patrons are not all "shaddy" characters
Paul Weston February 01, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Well, if the message that we should all get alarm systems installed in our homes, why stop there? They should be handing out firearms applications as well.
Chris Caesar February 01, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Why not a place for discussion, Howard? From what I saw, Christenson answered every raised hand at the meeting.
Chris Caesar February 01, 2012 at 03:22 AM
That was just one of several things they put forth at the meeting, in fairness.
howard mcgowan February 01, 2012 at 03:59 AM
This forum was to get ihe Malden Citiizens of WArd 3 involved in what was the interest of the limited group in what could be participation in Malden Crime Watch / The Q and A was in a limited Time frame and those who HAD questtions on the forum issue presented by the pd whuch was keyed on break ins T single family homes by drug addicts was covered well but this is a complex problem that need to be addressed. CRIME IN MALDEN T STATION STO[P AND SHOP DOWNTOWN BARS PARKING LOTS SENIOR HOUSING ETC. i appreciated the forum and iformation but think as an apartment dweller in Malden 30 yrs need to learn to adapt the crime watch information to my and neighbors situation
David Marsters February 01, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I agree Paul. It is your right to carry firearms. City would get the fees for the application.
AnnieOMalden February 01, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I was very surprised when I came out of the T station last night to see the lights in the park area have been fixed! The light over the handicap ramp is still out as are the street lights but this is progress! Thanks to whoever is listening!
Heather February 01, 2012 at 07:55 PM
The information the crimewatch handed out was great. When is the next meeting you are having? I would like to invite a few friends.


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