Killeen welcomes new Chief of Police during swear-in ceremony

The search for a new chief lasted six months.
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 5:26 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - After six months of searching, the largest city in Bell County swore in a new chief of police, today.

The selection comes six months after former Chief Charles Kimble announced his retirement.

Pedro Lopez Jr. joins the Killeen Police Department after a lengthy career in both law enforcement and the military.

“My vision for this police department is rooted in reducing crime, community partnership, transparency and accountability,” Lopez said.

In March, Killeen City Manager, Kent Cagle, announced he selected Lopez to be the city’s top law enforcement officer.

Lopez was the chief of police for the Houston Independent School District Police Department. Cagle said Lopez has a 35-year law enforcement career, and an extensive history working with the Houston Police Department, including as assistant chief of police.

“Lopez’s experience, references and 35-year commitment to this field are commendable, and his performance during the interview process was critical,” Cagle said. “I will present this selection to Council with the confidence that he will be a great, new leader within our city.”

(Courtesy Photo)

During his first appearance as chief, Lopez discussed the importance of transparency between a department and its community and the willingness to work with one another.

“We will strive to provide timely and accurate information to the public about our activities, policies and investigations,” Lopez said.

Transparency isn’t the only thing important to the new chief of police.

“Please know the Killeen Police Department is committed to working with you to make this community a safe and secure place to work and live. We will work hard to maintain your trust,” Lopez said.

He highlighted how accountability equals trustworthiness and trustworthiness is everything when working in law enforcement.

“Accountability is crucial to the success of any police force. We will hold ourselves accountable to the highest professional standards, ethics and integrity standards.”

More than just accountability and truthfulness, Lopez wants his officers to go the extra mile for Killeen citizens.

This could be anything from helping someone in mental distress, sorting an argument between neighbors or supporting local sports.

“The Killeen Police Department is here to protect and serve all members of this diverse community and are committed to building bridges between the police and the people we serve,” the new chief said.


  • Police officer for the first Gang Task Unit at the North Division
  • Officer in the Narcotics Division
  • Patrol Sergeant in the Jail Division and Internal Affairs Division
  • Lieutenant for the Tactical Unit, Robbery Division and Internal Affairs
  • Gang Division Commander
  • Assistant Police Chief for Patrol Region 1


  • Master of Arts in Criminology from the University of Houston
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Mountain State University
  • 27-year military career in the U.S. Army
  • Retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 3