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Residents Call for 'Action Plan' on Gun Violence

Followers of the Facebook page "As Malden Turns" called on city officials to "prepare a written action plan that will specifically address the gun violence in the city."

Officials said they will explore drafting an "action plan" to combat gun violence in the city, after members of an online citizens' group made the request at Tuesday night's city council meeting. 

Followers of the "As Malden Turns" Facebook page said they came to express concerns about escalating violence in the city, submitting the following letter to councillors.

It was the council's first meeting since the fatal shooting of Shawn Clark in front of his Main Street skateboard shop last week.  

Dear Members of the Council,

The residents that stand before you tonight, are here, not in opposition or defiance, but because we are concerned with the increase in crime, and what is happening in this city.

Over the past few months, we have seen an escalation in the level of gun violence in the city, and we are concerned. Concerned for the city, for the police officers, for our children, for our families and for our future.

Most recently, a local shop keeper was shot and killed in an gun related incident that happened in broad daylight, in a downtown area of our city, at lunch time. Most of the residents have never seen, or heard of, such violent behavior in Malden! 

We would like to see the Mayor's office, together with the City Council, prepare a written action plan that will specifically address the gun violence in the city. We feel that this needs to be a priority, and a written plan gives the residents a way to measure the progress and understand what the city is doing.

We also want to be involved in any efforts that we can be, to assist you, the council, the police and the community with this critical issue affecting our city. Community involvement, collaboration, and positive teamwork might just be the recipe that the city needs for success. 

Please give this request some consideration and please address this at your next Community Crime meeting. 

Respectfully,
AMT Group

Their letter was accepted by the council, and will be considered in broader detail by the council's public safety commitee.

Both Mayor Gary Christenson and the city council have previously identified public safety as a major concern, prompting the hiring of 12 new police officers this year. 

David Marsters February 06, 2013 at 12:41 PM
You can hire 100 new cops that won't stop the gun violence. You have to have an ordinance like Kennesaw Ga and make it mandatory for all households be armed and ready at all times. The ordinance was put there 20 yrs ago and the gun crime went down to almost zero. Go to http://www.kennesaw-ga.gov/government/city-clerks. Click on Code of Ordinance tab, then type "firearms" in the search box, you can view it
Elio February 06, 2013 at 02:24 PM
This rash of gun violence and crime spike is nothing new. If the mayor and police have not had a plan in the past what makes you think a letter for action is going to help now. Yes it puts it in front of them but that's as far as it will go. Well sais David, yes we have more cops but we also have more violence. Ok ready for the police defenders comments.
david mokal February 06, 2013 at 03:24 PM
None here Elio David is correct in what he states. If Im not mistaken before 1968 when permitts had to be obtained you could have a handgun in your house but not to be taken off your property without a handgun permitt. Rifle and shotgun permitts were not needed prior to 1968.
Scott February 06, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Everyone is missing the obvious. More guns, less guns, everyone have a gun...that will not solve the issue, Action Plan?!?!? written by whom? The same people who have allowed this culture to begin and expand while remaining silent? Kennesaw is a fine example but its not Malden, its not Massachusetts, regardless of its proximity to Atlanta...Dave, if everyone is Malden was armed, do you think it would subside? I don't...because of the lack of responsible people owning guns. The gun culture in the south is more responsible, most there grow up with them, respecting them...arming novices with weapons in a northeastern suburb isn't going to solve the problem....we are grasping at straws....change the culture of the city by engaging in positive progressive action. Do you know how many people in Malden don't know who the Mayor is? I've been asked so often I want to puke. We cant wait to see citizens educate themselves, we have to force educate them on their responsibility to create what a real safe city is . Everyone rants, points fingers, blames this one and that one, wants the city council to fix everything...no one has stepped up and done something positive for the city to begin the shift to unity....oh wait, 1 person did.
coldwaterdiver February 06, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Responsible gun owners are not the problem, it's irresponsible parents, a pass the buck education system, and the deterioration of social values.
david mokal February 06, 2013 at 05:39 PM
A few years ago on Appleton Court there was an elderly lady and her elderly freind. They were beat up badly. I dont own a gun anymore because of siezures but since that time I keep a Sledge-O -Matic handy. Cams are going in this month. It has its good and bad points I agree Scott. Im curious who wrote that also. You are absolutly correct about Unity. "Where there is Unity there is strength" and we have been lacking that for many years.
William S February 06, 2013 at 06:07 PM
12 new police officers? How many are leaving or have left? 12 doesn't put the number of officers where it should be, especially after the next couple of months. How about a real hiring effort and have the number of officers that a city the size of Malden needs. That's a good start and please stop playing politics with the police department.
Tony Grossi February 06, 2013 at 06:19 PM
The lack of responsible people owning guns? How many of the shooters were from Malden ? You want to cut down the violence then put cameras up in the trouble spots and put some teeth in the laws we have . I dont blame the city council for this but i dont think they alone can fix it. Force educate them on their responibility? How do you do that?
Kelly Ilebode February 06, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Positive Progress action is exactly the right term to use. The battle in having a tangible change, believe it or not, is worth the fight and VERY winnable. IF enough people rise and participate. Otherwise, it ends up only causing more dissension within the city. When a collective group of people are willing to step forward for good, it starts to cause a ripple effect and then change is seen but this will only happen if everyone sets their ego aside for the greater good. There are some pretty strong personalities out there.
david mokal February 06, 2013 at 08:43 PM
I didnt even think of that how many did leave? Im not sure but I think the police department tears ago maintained 80 officers.
DannyBoy February 06, 2013 at 09:07 PM
They had "re-education" camps in the former Soviet Union and China not too long ago, to brainwash people who did not conform to society and set them straight. Maybe, we need some of that here in Malden to straighten out the truands and riff-raff. Just sayin'...
Dan February 06, 2013 at 10:09 PM
I have to say that reading these comments with the exception of one or two shows me why this country is going down the tubes! For all the comments saying that more guns in responsible legal gun owners hands would not make a difference obviously has no idea about Switzerland where the law mandates that's all males over a certain age mandated to own a firearm and train using it and has made the crime rate almost 0 look at any place that has open carry org gun laws that do not be friends war abiding citizens has a very small crime rate. Then look at Chicago what gun control is through the roof some of the strictest laws in the country and the murder rate per capita higher than anywhere else.. and for the people who want to know who wrote the letter a group of Concerned Citizens that it disgusted by the way the city is going. A group of Citizens that is very upset that it took a hero's death to be heard if everyone who speaks a love letter or ill of the idea where were you for the City Council last night? Because I was there and I think it's a good start for a good plan.. and I'm sure a lot of use it going to have a lot of stupid things to say to me or about what I said so have at it. But when you come up with a better plan we'll all listen. For the comment happy about the cameras going in soon welcome to 1986. Ha! Big brother is growing and with the escalation of violence everyone is all too happy to give up their freedoms in the name of Safety lol... end rant else
Matthew February 06, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Plenty of residents have been stepping up to do positive thingss in this city.
Dan February 06, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Sorry meant 1984!
Matthew February 06, 2013 at 11:12 PM
I agree William 100% @David The number of employed officers on the force is not the problem. It's what's on the street per shift is the problem.
david mokal February 06, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Going ? It allready is down the tubes. Since the seventies. With imports,Morals,Companies Moving overseas,corporate greed. 3 recessions,gas shortages that were not so.
david mokal February 06, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Greg in the seventies I used to see a cruiser around ward one for years then it stopped. Now I see that they are back patroling my ward frequently again. With the exception of the 60's with the A&P shooting the worst thing that would happen is the Streakers running down the street.
William S February 07, 2013 at 05:11 PM
I would suggest they fund these officers with the money that is already in their budget and has been in their budget for years. They have had funding for officers in the police budget for years and the previous chief bragged about giving it back. He ran for city councilor and actually put in his campaign drop that he had done so. This is a long term downward spiral that they have known about and did nothing to fix it. What happened to that money?
AnnieOMalden February 07, 2013 at 06:25 PM
The former Chief played with the crime numbers so the former Mayor got his "Best Place" designation from a magazine which did no real fact checking. As a result, the 3 year, $500,000 a year grant which all the cities around us got was denied. The Chief was so confident he would get this money he said in a Finance Committee meeting I attended that he didn't need any more money from the city. Well, guess what? He didn't get it and the downward spiral sped up. Not only didn't we have money for new cruisers, we had no money for personnel. Did the city find the money to replace that loss? Who knows. I doubt it as I don't see many new cruisers or personnel. Please don't point to the 3 new recruits. Too little too late. Why hasn't the admin re-applied for these grants? How about, as I suggested before, get help from the Sheriff's Dept. (didn't the Mayor work there?) until those 12 new officers are on board--is it another 12 or are they counting the 3 we just got? If we have millions to move City Hall and buy property for the DPW and retrofit this new place, we have money to buy 20 officers at least. Let's get the priorities in order for a change here, please.

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