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.
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.