EXCLUSIVE: 25 News sat with retiring Killeen police chief

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 19:32:53-05

KILLEEN, Texas — Killeen is set to have a new police chief soon as the current chief is set to retire.

Since 2017 Charles Kimble has been at the helm of the Killeen Police Department, but his road to Killeen began over 30 years ago working a historic case in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

"Back in 1991, when I was hired, Jeffery Dahmer incident was going on in Milwaukee," said Kimble. "It was interesting being a police recruit in the academy during that time. It was a serial killer and we had a front row seat to all that."

It would be decades before he led the Killeen Police Department, but he landed here like many people do, with a connection to the military.

"I married a military soldier and we transitioned to North Carolina where spent the majority of my career," said Kimble. "In North Carolina, almost 23 years or 24 years before I came here and ended my career in Killeen, Texas."

Looking back on his decades-long career in law enforcement, he has seen many changes in the job, but as technology advances, he says people doing the job are going to have to start changing too.

"When I look at where it's headed, good and bad, we're really going to need some smart people to come into policing," said Kimble. "It's a noble profession, it is, but we need people who are smart, who are outside-the-box thinkers, who are problem solvers, to come into this community."

Much of what Kimble says are successes during his tenure, are the vast amount of community programs that took a hit during COVID and national protests for police reform.

It's those same hits he says has led to a rise in crime the past too years.

"As COVID started to loosen it's grip a little bit, man we saw crime explode," said Kimble. "People were getting back out. We saw the criminal element, they needed to reestablish their territory just like any salesman would have to do."

Now that he is retiring from law enforcement, Kimble hopes to see more changes to how the job is done.

Especially when it comes to situations that could be handled without a badge and gun.

"Yes, law enforcement is what we do but, some of those things aren't police issues," said Kimble. "They are community issues, and as a community, we need to solve that problem."

That is how he plans to continue serving out of uniform but not before some much needed quality time with his family.