YOUR TURN: Mayor's 7 Crime-Fighting Proposals

What did you think of the proposals Mayor Gary Christenson unveiled at his monthly public safety meeting Monday night?

Mayor Gary Christenson unveiled a seven-point proposal to combat crime in the city Monday night, proposing some new spending as well a resident sticker program to raise revenue for more police officers. 

The plan willl be considered by city councilors when they reconvene next month, but we wanted to hear what you think - is this a good plan to fight crime in Malden? A good start? Or is it completely off the mark?

Read the seven-point plan and share your views with other Maldonians below:


Mayor Christenson’s Initiatives to Improve Public Safety

(editor's note: This summary was submitted to the press by Mayor Gary Christenson)

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.

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 Councilor Kinnon as the City Council’s Public Safety Chairman to begin holding hearings on this initiative. 

Diana August 29, 2012 at 05:48 PM
For a homegrown 'murcan, paul sure don't read English so good.
Meggle August 29, 2012 at 06:01 PM
It's encouraged but not required by the TOS to use your real full name. I generally don't in public spaces because I've had some freaky people get after me in the past (though not through Patch, thankfully).
DannyBoy August 29, 2012 at 06:12 PM
For crying out loud, can some of the posters here stay on topic? If you have a problem with Patch's TOS, bring it up with the editor in a private email. The rest of us don't need and want to see your snarky comments! This applies mostly to Erik Royds, broadway jay and paul surette.
Chris Caesar August 29, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Hey Erik, Meggle is right - we do not require a real name on the site. However, tomorrow, I am going to write a letter FROM the editor asking people how they feel about implementing some new community guidelines on the site.
Joe Gray August 29, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Parking permits went down in flames a couple years back, when it was brought up at city hall. Ward 6 councilor proposed it then and the council tried to make it work. Gary(as a councilor) tried to sell it then & residents were up in arms. Ward 6 councilor is being out in charge of it now. We'll have show & tell meetings and the parking permits rules will be jammed through anyway. I've seen this script already. I know how it ends.
AnnieOMalden August 29, 2012 at 11:28 PM
The parking sticker went down in flames less than a year ago. Mayor Gary backed off when he listened to the citizens. At least he had the guts to show up and hear us. Kinnon was nowhere to be found at the Linden School meeting. Judy Bucci and Mayor Gary were handed an earful from the citizens and after that the matter was tabled. The parking permits would require hiring more friends and family to administer the program. Before we add any more regulations and fines and/fees how about enforcing what we already have? We need to demand our leaders stop squeezing us for more money. They need to get serious about bringing in real business that would employ people and not strain our already stretched infrastucture. No more apartment buildings but more commercial business. Too many "For Rent or Lease signs in buildings. Food trucks are not enough. Before any business in their right mind would move into Malden, they have to know they are safe. Revenue from people registering their cars in Malden and paying the exise tax will not be the cash waterfall the pro sticker few on the Council think it will be. Remember the trash bags? How many jobs was that supposed to save? This is the lazy way out of financing the needs of the city. Outdated and short sighted thinking on the Council's part to continue with the "tax and spend" mentality.
Michael Victor August 30, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Hey that's not true that is the meeting I went to at Linden and Kinnon was the one w ho presented it and took the questions. Didn't go to the Beebe or the City Hall one after so not sure but he sure was there. I like a lot of things you say but when it comes to your Councillor you can't be trusted to tell the turth I think you are just to jaded at this point. As for stickers well for me I am sick and tired of the Not rooming houses dominating the area and bet any amount they are not paying there excise tax and if it means the police know who are in the neighborhood well that would certainly be good. Annie I remember the trash bags all too well and this Mayor and your Councilor fought against them and you can spin the nonsense all you want but every sane person knows thats the truth so stop with it we the people lost that one and you were just another player who was dissapointed in it. Move on to new things would you.
Dan O'Brien August 30, 2012 at 01:23 AM
@bostonurbex, are you the official spokesman for the city now?
Joe Gray August 30, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Hi Michael V: You must have been at some other meeting at Linden with Kinnon. I was at that Linden meeting with Annie, Gary and Judy Bucci. Multiple meetings were apparently held to try and solicit resident support. Kinnon was not at the parking sticker meeting that Annie and I attended. A lot of vocal residents from across the city were there with us. Immediately after that Linden meeting with Gary and Judy, the sticker program was officially shelved for that legislative session.
Michael Victor August 30, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Maybe they did there own meeting but I was at the Public Safety meeting at Linden and Kinnon gave the presentation answered all kinds of questions good sized crowd and when asked the majority of people wanted the stickers very clear. Maybe they had there own meeting. I know nothing at what happened at the other meetings but she is full of nonsense when it comes to her Councilor and one doesn't have to agree with him but her insinuating the guy was hiding is just more of her nonsense and jadedness. And just sick about hearing her rant about the bags time to get over it.
Michael Victor August 30, 2012 at 09:00 AM
Decided to go look online for an article about this. http://malden.patch.com/articles/resident-sticker-parking-program-oulined-at-public-hearing Well here is the proof that what I am saying is true about the meeting I went to. Guess Annie O was the one who was nowhere to be found. Maybe she was so angry she blocked this one out of her memory bank. Maybe if we had done this back then we would have been able to beef up our police already with whatever they needed. Money to do it has to come from somewhere and for my part lets have most of it come from those not paying their excise taxes. Click the link for the Linden meeting article on Patch. I am going to look for the others now. http://malden.patch.com/articles/resident-sticker-parking-program-oulined-at-public-hearing
Michael Victor August 30, 2012 at 09:11 AM
Here's another one of the meetings I missed that was reported on. It seems reading it by this time the parking permits were free upfront for everyone paying excise. Wish they had done it then. Time lost. Says police chief and unioin head of police were in support. http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/malden/2011/03/resistance_skepticism_at_last.html
Michael Victor August 30, 2012 at 09:20 AM
Funny thing also read some of the blogs then and Joe G and Annie O you both railed against it then which everyone is entitled to their opinion. But you both also rail that we need more public safety which most people seem to agree. What is your plan to get the money to do that ? Where would it come from? Not like a lot of money lying around in this city? Its easy to complain but the Mayor is bringing solutions most which cost money what's it going to come out of? DPW? Fire Dept? Schoools? If your going to not like one thing but think we need more for public safety (police) what is your alternative? Anyone can rail against something.. the serious people are the ones that provide and alternative.
paul surette August 30, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Awww....look everyone....the kids on Patch are fighting....maybe we should call them the 'Cabbage Patch Kids' :)
AnnieOMalden August 30, 2012 at 07:12 PM
M Victor: Funny, of the 3 links you provided, 2 were the same and I am actually pictured as being in attendance in one of them! Since you weren't at the last one, please don't call me a liar about Neil not being there. There were several meetings and the last one Neil didn't show. Shortly after that meeting and with the input during other meetings the matter was tabled. Case closed. Maybe you have plenty of disposable income and don't mind the admin taking the easy way out to simply tax and spend. We have the potential in this city for tremendous opportunities for commercial business (not talking nail salons and dollar stores) yet the only avenues for raising revenue is to build more apartment buildings and tax the residents. We have $5mil (so far) in free cash and who knows how much waste Mayor G is uncovering as we speak? From one of the articles you cited (thank you!): "The cash, in turn, would provide a needed bump going forward each year that would help support the salaries of the new parking enforcement officers and to maintain the thousands of signs required to make the plan feasible." I am not interested in creating more jobs for friends and family of the politicos of the city. Perhaps you are not aware your friend Neil Kinnon has loaded the charter school with his friends and family regardless of their qualifications. I have a problem with that, yes. And your telling me to leave him alone won't stop me.
Joe Gray August 30, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Anyone can rail that we need to tax more. Doesn't make it right. We'll just have to disagree. I didn't like the sticker program then, I haven't hidden my disdain now, if you read the previous posts above.
Michael Victor August 30, 2012 at 08:43 PM
So Joe G you complain about Public Safety all the time. What's your solution cut's where? Forget Annie she is more concerned about bashing her Arch enemy every chance she gets. Its simply an obsession so no use there she is so filled with hate its eating at her.
Joe Gray August 30, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Cut the blue bag program. Cut the waste being found at city hall. Make the financial audits more transparent so residents know how the tax dollars are being spent on endless leveraged bonding of city assets to pay for boondoggles. Yeah. I have my pet peeves. No mystery there. And yes, I don't have any clear solutions. And yes, I do NOT like more taxes. You can figure out the rest. I'm being just as logical as any one else on these boards.
Michael Victor August 30, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Surprise surprise. Name some waste please I am sure there is some but nobody is ever specific out here. YOu know why they have no idea just like me. Whats the biggest part of any city budget? Well that's where people usually start to look for waste. Joe how bout it, Call your Councilor get the budget and then go through it and make some suggestions. YOu and Annie claim there is all this waste at City Hall but the big three is where all the money is in every city. Police, Fire Schools. Who's cutting the police? Annie isn't letting you cut the Fire, Schools Joe you know you aren;t going there you don't think they have enough. Well how about DPW yea they are way overmanned. So you want more for schools, more for police and fire, more clean streets and sidewalks but cut the millions from the bags already built in. Hey I know lets go Wisconsin and break those union contracts. You up for that Joe and Annie? Betting your not. Nope get that five million out of City Hall. Oh forgot they have millions in unfunded pensions maybe raid that? either step up or stop whining would ya solutions its easy to complain I know cause I do it all the time
Joe Gray August 31, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Such a voracious appetite Michael. I answer the question and it is not good enough. There is no amount of answering that will be good enough, when you're invested in not believing anything from an opposite point of view. You have no solutions, but you challenge me to fix things for you. What am I, your councilor? :-) just dig up some past news articles for yourself. I believe a couple million$ or so was found in the Malden city coffers after an audit that the comptroller, the mayor and the city council had no idea that we had. Poor to non-existent bookkeeping at city hall. Yep. In the news. Too bad, I seem to be the only remembering some of the shenanigans at city hall. I'm not the one scaring people with doomsday scenarios. I'm leaving that all to you. I'm hoping things get fixed. And I'm hoping taxes aren't raised(again) to fix problems, that were promised to be fixed several tax raises ago, by all of the intervening tax raises. You can't get a real budget of of city hall with a crow bar. I've seen anti-tax groups in town try. And what we do get is redacted with many questions unanswered.
paul surette August 31, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Careful Joe....stating your opposing views might just get you deleted :)
Diana August 31, 2012 at 12:47 AM
How does one go about learning to type without first learning to read, paul? Just curious, it's kind of a neat party trick. Hey, you aren't actually a thousand monkeys, are you?
Chris Caesar August 31, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Weirdly, Joe didn't make any boneheaded racist remarks and his comment is still on the site. I wonder why that is. I guess it's just one of life's mysteries.
paul surette August 31, 2012 at 11:38 AM
I have come to dismiss Caesar.....not praise him :)
BIG FISH LIL BROOK September 03, 2012 at 08:34 PM
ATTA BOY ! Wtg !!!
BIG FISH LIL BROOK September 03, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Joe its been that way all my life. They screw Up..We Pay for it. Happends in all Government City and Federal. I just want to see people accountable.
BIG FISH LIL BROOK September 03, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Oh here we go again another spellchecker. Is this a neat way of calling one stupid or uneducated? Is this part of the rules Ceaser learning to spell n type.haaaaaaaa They all want to be like me Big Fish In A Little Brook haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
BIG FISH LIL BROOK September 03, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Hey Cris just thought of a new name "THE MALDEN BASH" I have come to the conclusion its more fun to sit here and read and watch everyone go Bonkers !
BIG FISH LIL BROOK September 03, 2012 at 08:46 PM
HEY CHRIS what happened to the computer thingy that was great dont see it no more.
BIG FISH LIL BROOK September 03, 2012 at 08:51 PM
You know what will happen MOOOOOOOOOOORE TAXES Michael. Sometimes we all must be very carefull of what we wish for Doncha Think?


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