By Lisa Soule
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen council members Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Dennis Baldwin as the citys new police chief.
Baldwin has served as interim chief since January, when Robert L. Jackson Jr. abruptly tendered his resignation.
Ive appreciated the cooperation Ive been getting from the community, Baldwin told the council. I am looking forward to several years to come and hope to take things to the next level.
City Manager David Blackburn announced the appointment after conducting a na-tionwide search to fill the position with the help of a Dallas-based consulting firm.
More than 90 people applied for the position, and the field was narrowed to five candidates earlier this month.
Blackburn described the search as rigorous and thanked members of the department, community and other area police chiefs who aided in the process.
Over the past several months, Blackburn said he has had the pleasure of observing and working with Baldwin.
I think he is well positioned to lead the department into the future, Blackburn said.
Baldwin, 45, acknowledged the extensive process to fill the position and said he was appreciative of it.
It was a long journey, but one worth taking for a position of this importance, Baldwin said.
Councilman Eddie Vale said he was personally elated with Blackburns choice, calling the new chief a proactive person willing to deal with the tough issues.
Vale said he was also pleased the promotion came from within the ranks of the Killeen Police Department, calling it an excellent strategy.
It sends a message, Vale said.
Edmund Jones, a member of the Citizens Alert Committee, a self-appointed Killeen watchdog group, said he was glad Baldwin was named chief.
I already predicted it a couple weeks ago, Jones said. If people are doing a good job, we compliment them, Jones said of his committee. If not, we tell them we dont need them.
Baldwin said he is fortunate to know the strengths and weaknesses of the department and said it is already on the right track.
We are building a better bond with the community, Baldwin said.
The department has implemented a new computer statistic crime management program under Baldwins watch and will now move to seek accreditation.
Baldwin, who lives outside the county, said he plans to move to Killeen.
Contact Lisa Soule at firstname.lastname@example.org