Mayor Gary Christenson joined other political and law enforcement officials at a Boston press conference Monday, announcing their new push for the first update to the state's wiretapping laws since 1968.
Passed before the development of cell phones, language in the state's current law restricts wiretaps to only “wire communications,” and limits the use of such surveillance to organized crime investigations.
“We are not giving law enforcement the tools they need to fight back,” State Sen. Clark told reporters.
With the support of State Attorney General Martha Coakley, Clark has introduced a new bill offering three major revisions to existing law:
1. Updates the definition of “wire communication” to include wireless devices like cell phones and pagers,
2. Removes the organized crime requirement for offenses and would allow wiretaps in the investigation of other crimes, such as rape, human trafficking, money laundering, and enterprise crime.
3. Extends the possible term of a wiretap from 15 days to 30 days.
All wiretaps would still require probable cause and judicial review, Coakley said.
Christenson told reporters that crime had been Malden's “ most dominant issue” during his first year in office, with 10 shootings in 2012 alone.
“We need help,” he told reporters. “That's why im here to thank the attorney general and Sen. Clark - they get it, and they know what we're up against."