UPDATE The state awarded MPD $95,024 to initiate, acquire, and implement, a Body-Worn Camera (BWC) program. In order to qualify for the grant, the MPD submitted a comprehensive deployment plan that described a deliberate and phased plan to deploy technology, as well as specific ways the program will enhance the department's mission. It is anticipated that the BWC program will be operational in the Fall of 2022.
Mayor Gary Christenson and the Malden Police Department have announced that the implementation of body worn cameras has been mutually agreed upon by the City and its police officers. This agreement represents the strong commitment by the Mayor and the Police Department in using all available tools and resources to keep our community and our police officers safe in a way that is fair, impartial, and transparent.
The use of technology, particularly as it relates to body worn cameras has been a priority of Mayor Christenson who stated, “I want to thank all of those who were involved in this mutually agreed upon endeavor. While technology alone cannot exclusively deliver our hope, vision and commitment to the best practices of policing for our community, body worn cameras are a crucial step forward as we continue to build on our Police Department’s commitment to increase transparency and enhance public safety.”
In embracing the use of body worn cameras, all of the sworn members of the Malden Police Department will be able to record, document and save the multitude of citizen contacts and interactions in which they engage each and every day. This acquired data will serve many purposes such as, providing a source of evidence, a means of determining training needs and perhaps most importantly, a means by which the actions of officers can be viewed and assessed in a way that is currently lacking. It sends a strong and clear message to the community that its police department is accountable and transparent in its values and its actions.
The Malden Police Department has shown a strong track record of community engagement and, partnerships along with a willingness to improve and evolve in their delivery of essential services. They have actively engaged in community outreach though the Junior Police Academy, Athletic Coaching/Mentoring, School Resource Officer, lifesaving NARCAN, substance abuse support, mental health response, domestic violence initiatives and less-lethal/de-escalation practices.
Malden Police Chief Kevin Molis joined the Mayor in supporting this initiative, “The willing acceptance of a body camera initiative is an extension and evolution of the Malden Police Department's already proud history of public service and community engagement. Every day Malden Police Officers respond to a variety of situations and circumstances that require a vast array of knowledge, skills and resources. The use of body cameras will document the great and oftentimes heroic work that our officers perform on a regular basis in a way that is lasting and transparent. I can also say with great confidence that it will reveal how fortunate the people of Malden are to be served by our officers in a City that truly cares not only in words but in its actions.”
The Malden Police Department is aware that the implementation of this body camera initiative carries with it the requirements, duties, and obligations to do so in a way that complies with all laws, existing statutes that relate to privacy and other relevant concerns. This is particularly important with regard to witnesses and victims of crime. All releases of videos will be strictly guided by and in compliance with the Public Records Act.