In January 2018, there were no homicides reported in the City of Killeen, which is the first time in over half of a year the city went an entire month without a murder reported.
The last time Killeen went a month without a murder reported was last June, and while the city did get through January without one, they did experience their first homicide of the year Feb. 7 when officials said a verbal altercation turned physical and one man died at the hospital as the result of a gunshot wound.
"Sometimes the city of Killeen does kind of receive a bad rep, if you will, in relation to violent crime," Lt. Frank Plowick with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Killeen Police Department said.
Plowick added that the city's crime rate isn't abnormal compared to surrounding cities of similar size.
"Over the last several years the homicide rate has maintained relatively close. It has gone up over the past few years, but so has the population," Plowick said.
In 2017 the city had 18 murders, eight of which have been solved.
"We have six offenders currently in jail for those offenses, two of those suspects were deceased at the scene of those murders and the other 10 cases are still actively being worked by our homicide unit," Plowick said.
Plowick added that of the 18 murders, four were the result of domestic violence incidents, nine were related to narcotics and the other five are still under investigation.
And while the murder rate may seem high, Plowick said all the violence can be avoided.
"For individuals to remain safe what they really need to do is be aware of their surroundings and don't engage in 'at-risk' lifestyles," Plowick said.
And for anyone thinking that being a criminal is the path they would like to take, Plowick has this message for them.
"You can rest assured that the Killeen Police Department and the detectives with our Homicide Unit in particular do not rest and do not stop," Plowick said.
Plowick said going forward, the department wants citizens to know they value their cooperation and together they can make Killeen safer one day at a time.
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