Killeen: Police chief hosts his first community forum

The Killeen Police Department wants to meet face-to-face with residents to discuss how to solve problems in the city.

A community forum will be held Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Killeen at 3310 South W.S. Young Dr.

This will be the first public forum hosted by Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble.

He says although these forums have been put on for more than a decade, he would like to do things a little differently this year.

"It gives us a chance to hear first-hand the concerns of the citizens as we develop our strategic plan here at the police department," says Kimble.

"We can take the input that we hear directly from the citizens and integrate that into our strategic plan to move forward."

He says the first part of the forum will be an open session where residents can walk around and speak directly with members of the KPD team.

Officers from different departments like crime analysis, crime prevention, and traffic and patrol will be on hand to answer specific questions from attendees.

The second part will feature guest speakers from community partners like LULAC and the NAACP.

They will discuss how they can help resolve community issues outside of crime.

"One of the challenges that we had was our outreach or dealing with the community, getting trust or buy-in from the community," says Kimble referring to past police issues and the Department of Justice report released months before the scheduled meeting.

"Having forums where we can talk one-on-one and in group settings and with our community partners is important because we get all aspects of any potential problems that there may be," he adds.

Kimble says the department has been working hard over the past several months to build community relationships and lower crime.

The latest crime statistics for the city will also be released at the public meeting.