In 2017, the Killeen Police Department requested assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Diagnostic Center with assessing the scope of violent crime in the area.
On Monday, representatives from the OJP Diagnostic Center released their findings.
Over the last seven months, a senior diagnostics specialist with the OJP Diagnostic Center and two professors from Texas State University analyzed data, interviewed police officers and met with community members to identify the strengths and challenges facing the city.
The report found that Killeen's violent crime rate is high compared to the state rate and similarly sized cities throughout the United States. It also found that homicides and shootings in Killeen over the last 10 years were concentrated in older neighborhoods on the north side of the city.
The DOJ is suggesting that Killeen Police work on enhancing community policing and collaborating with others to better monitor the areas where crime occurs more frequently.
"It wasn't a big surprise. We knew of the challenges and we've already started to deal with a lot of those issues," said Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble. "As a chief, it was a little bit of a hard pill to swallow because I thought we were there. But sometimes, when you look in your own mirror all the time, you need somebody to tell you, to say, 'hey you may want to refocus' or 'maybe you're not as good as you thought you were.'"
Chief Kimble said the changes won't happen overnight, but they are well on their way. He also wants to remind the community that their support and cooperation will help make the city a safer place for everyone.
To view the full report from the OJP Diagnostic Center, click here.
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