CITY OF MALDEN, MA
Mayor Richard Howard
 

Malden Police Domestic Violence Unit

The Malden Police Department formed a Domestic Violence Unit in 1994. At that time, the unit consisted of two full-time detectives and a part-time domestic violence advocate provided for by Services Against Family Violence. During the next four years, the unit handled approximately 900 cases per year. The unit was kept busy, primarily following up with incoming reports. The unit thought it would be beneficial to expand domestic violence law enforcement at the Malden Police Department, and also wanted to focus on domestic violence prevention.

In October, 1996, the Malden Police Department was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, which enabled the department to add two more detectives to the Domestic Violence Unit, as well as hire a full-time Domestic Violence Liaison.

By increasing the unit to four detectives, the department has provided more coverage at the station for domestic violence calls, more opportunities to serve restraining orders, more personnel to serve warrants, and greater follow-up with victims. The Domestic Violence Liaison coordinates the Domestic Violence Emergency Response System (DVERS) cell phone program, provides victim services, provides outreach and education in the community, and coordinates the Malden Domestic Violence Task Force.

The Domestic Violence Unit is highly effective in enforcing domestic violence laws, and making sure victims are informed of their options. Members of the unit are familiar with the social and psychological effects of domestic abuse, and are able to assist families on many levels. Aside from enforcing domestic violence laws, the Domestic Violence Unit is available to speak at length with victims, and provide resources and support. Providing personalized support to families experiencing domestic abuse is effective in letting victims know they are not to blame, and that there are people that care and want to help.

The Malden Police Domestic Violence Unit is currently funded by the city of Malden and the U.S. Department of Justice grant, with an approximate annual budget of $256,000, which supports the work of four police personnel, one civilian employee and two interns.

CONTACT: Lt. Thomas Swanson, Malden Police Department, 200 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148, Telephone - (617) 397-7181, Fax - (617) 397-0296.

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