By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen police Chief Dennis Baldwin presented end-of-year statistics to the City Council Tuesday, showing an increase of crime in nearly every category tracked by the department.
The presentation at a regular meeting of the council gave numbers from January through November 2010. Baldwin said numbers for December were not yet available because of technical issues.
Along with an increase in the number of crimes, calls for service jumped 16.3 percent over the same period in 2009. Police were called out to possible crimes or for citizen assistance more than 22,000 times more in 2010 than in 2009.
The increase in calls to KPD was coupled with a staff shortfall. Put together, it led to a slight increase in the time between a call and an officer being dispatched and an increase in response time.
"The last time we saw such a huge increase (in calls for service) we found a significant population increase," Baldwin said.
Previous reports have shown that while the amount of crimes committed in Killeen have been on the rise, the per capita crime index rating has been on the decline.
Baldwin said he is waiting for population figures from the 2010 Census before presenting an updated crime index to the council. Those figures should be available by April 1.
Continued stress on the populace contributes to an increase in violent crimes, most notably family violence. Baldwin cited financial tensions caused by a sluggish economy, including a local unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, and the ongoing stress of servicemen and women in a wartime atmosphere as the main contributors to the increase.
At Baldwin's previous quarterly presentation, council members asked him to provide information about the division of work performed at the department's North Precinct - the old police department - and the new Community Boulevard Headquarters.
The numbers he presented showed that the North Precinct remains very active regarding foot traffic. More money was gathered through permits and payments at the North Precinct, and officers took more walk-in reports there.
"There's a lot of foot traffic in the north that is not available in the south," he said.
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.