The Advisory Group for Obama’s Pledge (AGOP)
As part of the Obama Foundation Pledge, Mayor Christenson formed an Advisory Group to assist in reviewing the Malden Police Department (MPD) Use of Force Policy. The group of community members included Jay Bhimani, Kelli Collomb, Isadel Eddy, Ben Hartzell, Karen Colón Hayes, Darren Josey, Tihun Lawrence, Carey McDonald, Yu Sin Mok, Erga Pierrette, Tamerlie Roc, and Birukti Tsige. Also working with the group were City Councillors Amanda Linehan, Karen Colon Hayes and Stephen Winslow; former City Councillor Neal Anderson and Special Assistant Maria Luise. Their role was to review the policy, provide insight and interpretation, and identify areas of improvement specifically through the lens of a community member.
The review process involved the following four (4) actions steps:
Step 1: Review
AGOP encouraged the Malden Police Department (MPD) to publish the Use of Force Policy on their website. In addition, the policy was translated into Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and Spanish. The group spent several months reviewing all aspects of the policy, speaking with police officers and city leaders, receiving information and data from the MPD, reviewing resources around best practices, and drafting recommended changes.
Step 2: Engage
AGOP presented the draft of recommended changes to the community and engaged the public through a virtual community meeting and a published survey. The meeting was simultaneously interpreted into Arabic, Cantonese, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The meeting included a presentation and offered the opportunity to learn more about the context of the AGOP’s recommendations. Participants were also given the chance to ask questions.
The survey was developed by AGOP, translated into six languages and consisted of a five-point agreement scale for each recommendation. A total of 1,318 survey responses were analyzed by consultants at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and their observations are provided in the Final Report as part of the Appendix.
Step 3: Report
AGOP utilized the feedback and input from the community to reassess the recommendations and make amendments to the draft. The recommendations are finalized in the Final Report, which was submitted to Mayor Christenson, MPD Commissioner Salvatore Gennetti, and Former MPD Chief Kevin Molis and Captain Glenn Cronin. The Report was also shared with the Malden City Council.
Step 4: Reform
The anticipated goal is that the recommendations are reviewed, considered, and lead to reforms of policies and new initiatives. The Malden Police Department through present Chief, Glenn Cronin, provided responses to the report.