Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. brought together fellow City leaders, Mayor Richard Howard and Police Chief James Holland from Malden; City Manager Jay Ash and Chief Brian Kyes from Chelsea to discuss the recently publicized crimes in the area. Although publicized uptick in crime in the three cities is not an indicator of any new trends, the three city leaders decided to get together to talk about different ways to combat the issue.
While all three Police departments are working closely with State and Federal agencies, combating drug trafficking, sharing information on criminals and criminal behavior, monitoring and disrupting gang activity, all agree that with more officers and analysts the departments will be more effective.
“What we need is a collective plan,” says Mayor DeMaria, “all of our cities are experiencing similar issues and if we work together, we’ll have greater success lobbying the State House, and if we have to, the White House.”
The group developed a nine-point plan of attack to initiate a greater conversation between City and State stakeholders. While the plan is still in the development phase, the three city leaders are determined to attack the short-term issues while fortifying a solid prevention program.
The three city leaders believe their combined ability to lobby the State Legislature to seek fundamental change in the court system and the education system, noting the two can go hand in hand. All agreed that prevention is the long-term solution: educating kids on drug abuse, bullying, and gangs, plus giving students more tools to enter the workforce out of high school or college. To combat the short term problems, the court system, the correction system and the probation system all need proper funding to ensure violent criminals do not re-enter common society and petty criminals are educated with tools to enter the workforce.
“Crime is increasingly regional, and the solutions need to be as well,” states Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash. “It’s great to see that our police departments want to work together more to share information and coordinate enforcement actions, but a lack of resources limit our current effectiveness. We’ll continue to strive to do our best, but from Boston and Washington would go a long way to ensuring residents thorough our region that a better and more effective plan is in place to promote a better quality of life in our communities and increased public safety throughout our region.”
Mayor DeMaria added, “this also starts as a community issue, and we’ll need to bring together all of our stakeholders religious leaders, parents and community groups. We’ll get their input so together we can work on solutions and keep our cities safe.”