KILLEEN, TX — In 2020, Killeen saw 31 homicides, nearly double the amount of murders from the year before. At the start of 2021, the community was outraged after a Killeen man was killed by a Killeen PD officer during a mental health call.
In a time where calls for reform are being heard from coast to coast, Central Texas voices are also joining the chorus for change.
“When you’re there with that family and you see tears coming down, that’s a totally different aspect when it comes to it. Somebody’s father passed away. Somebody’s son passed,” said DeAndre Little with Brothers Against Community Crime.
Several Killeen community members and organizations, including Brothers Against Community Crime, are now speaking up to not only hold police officers accountable but also work with them to help prevent crimes in the city.
It’s why the city is working to make the Committee for Crime Solutions.
“Our department has been understaffed and underpaid. We just haven’t had the money to fund it. The more that we can work as a committee to meet all the needs of all of our citizens, I think it will help get to those solutions faster,” said Killeen City Councilwoman Mellisa Brown.
The committee’s purpose will be to study crime, recommend solutions to decrease crime, then coordinate and execute efforts.
“If I can’t hold myself accountable or my brother accountable, then how can I hold them [Killeen PD] accountable? They can’t be everywhere at once. It empowers us to let us know that they’re trying to hear our voice. They’re trying to come up with a solution to the problems,” said Bryan King with Brothers Against Community Crime.
Each council member may appoint one member to the committee. The Killeen PD Police Chief will provide staff as a resource to the committee.
City officials say they also plan on working with Harker Heights Police and other nearby cities to connect locals with law enforcement and find ways to make a safer community.