By Mason Lerner

Harker Heights Herald

City officials covered safety and Memory Lane traffic issues in Tuesday's workshop.

Harker Heights Fire Chief Jack Collier delivered a presentation regarding the city's Emergency Management Program.

Harker Heights Police Chief Mike Gentry talked about the results of a traffic survey conducted by the department on Memory Lane, in response to residents' complaints.

After the presentations, both men answered questions from council members, City Manager Steve Carpenter and Mayor Mike Aycock.

Collier discussed the differences between disasters and emergencies, how local authorities are organized to handle them and the different levels of emergency.

Collier explained how the mayor can request aid from the state or national government in case of a disaster or emergency. Collier also discussed the procedures and ramifications of different types and levels of hazards.

"I think it's something we need to stay diligent with," said Carpenter. "You need to keep up with it because you never know."

Collier said it was important to be prepared for all situations and promised there would be citywide drills in the near future.

He reminded the group that they have already experienced its share of unexpected tragedy. He alluded specifically to the Nov. 5, 2009, mass shooting at Fort Hood.

"It can happen, and the effects can be major," Collier said.

Gentry addressed the issue of traffic on Memory Lane in Harker Heights.

Because of the massive amount of construction in the area, HHPD reports more than 3,000 cars are being diverted through Memory Lane every day.

Cpl. Randy Stefeck shared the results of a traffic survey the department conducted to provide a solution.

"Basically, the surveys show there is not a speeding issue," Gentry said. "At this point, there is not a whole lot to be done."

Gentry said if a new speed limit or new stop signs would make a difference, he would make sure the city got them. But he said the truth is only time and progress can solve the problem.

"We're all organic to the process," Gentry said. "What happens in Killeen affects traffic in Harker Heights and vice versa."

"That is kind of the nature of the beast," he added.

Contact Mason Lerner at or (254) 501-7567.

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