About 20 members of the Killeen Police Department met with residents at the department’s Community Boulevard headquarters Thursday evening to talk about with residents about crime prevention, just like they’ve done time and time again.

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KPD meet and greet

Larry Holly, president of Killeen Volunteers Incorporated talking to Killeen Investigator Angela Booker during a Dec. 7, 2017, meet-and-greet at the Killeen Police Department headquarters.

This session was a bit different, though. Officers, detectives and even Chief Charles Kimble took the first 40 minutes to meet with residents individually, and talk about their personal concerns in a more intimate setting.

“Tonight is not about trying to solve a crime, though if you do have information on a cold case, we will take it. But it’s about building a relationship,” Killeen District 2 Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King said. “Build that relationship with them (police officers) so you can trust them and they can trust you. They’re just like you and me, they wake up and get dressed in the morning.”

In the past, the meet-and-greet meetings or community forums began with presentations from the police chief, crime prevention coordinator Tammy Moseley and representatives from several divisions such as investigations or patrol. Those presentations were still given, but not until officers and residents had some time to talk directly.

“It’s not a meet-and-greet; it’s about building relationships,” Nash-King said. “(People) will be more likely to be like ‘Hey, there’s a crime here’ or ‘Hey, I heard this.’ They won’t be afraid of each other.”

Maria Gardner, 71, came to the forum because she wanted to hear the new chief in person for the first time. She also voted for Nash-King, and said she was happy to see her following up on her campaign promises.

Gardner didn’t expect to get to talk to officers one-on-one, but was glad she did, especially as the budget for the department has been cut.

Burglary and car theft prevention tips were given to those in attendance. The holiday season is among the worst for theft, police say, but there are simple steps that people can take to keep their property safe.

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KPD meet and greet

KPD Assistant Chief Margaret Young talks to Lenon Gardner, a Harker Heights High School volunteer, Dec. 7, 2017, meet-and-greet at the Killeen Police Department headquarters.

It starts with making sure that car doors are locked, and keys and valuables aren’t left inside vehicles overnight.

Make sure in the days following Christmas, you don’t advertise what gifts you just received by placing the boxes out by the road for the garbage truck to pick up.

“Don’t put out your box from your Air Force 1s, your Playstation, your Pandora or Kay’s jewelry box out in front of your house,” Kimble said.

Sometimes the theft doesn’t happen at your home, but over the phone. Officers warned residents in attendance of the grandparent scam, in which people will call grandparent-aged people pretending to be their grandchild and demand some sort of payment as either money to bail that grandchild out of jail or pay some sort of medical bill. Phone calls from IRS agent impersonators are another thing to watch out for.

“You think you’re going to pay the IRS with $5,000 iTunes card? It’s not going to happen,” Det. Ramiro Martinez said.

Don Smith is a 75-year-old U.S. Army retiree, who like Kimble, spent some time in Fayetteville, North Carolina, while stationed at Fort Bragg. He was eager to get acquainted with police and was happy to have individual conversations.

“To me, crime is a problem everywhere, but the only way we’re going to help solve it is work with the police department,” Smith said. “I think we all need to realize that 99 percent of what the police do is good, but sometimes, it seems like the only thing we see in the newspaper is the 1 percent of bad.”

The issue of community-building came up several times throughout the evening. Several residents in attendance asked how to demolish distrust of the police department among people, and the dwindling amount of funding the department has received was brought up as well.

“I have to build a relationship with you, things like this help build those relationships,” Kimble said. “I’m not going to talk about what happened before I got here because that’s not fair. But everywhere we go ... we’re building relationships every day, and we’re going to keep building those relationships every day. We’re constantly doing that, and we will keep doing that as long as I’m the police chief.”

254-501-7552 | sullivan@kdhnews.com

(7) comments

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

KPD Assistant Chief Margaret Young sure has a lot of medals on her REAL police uniform. I bet she has served KILLeen with distinction. She must be state certified, too, because she was acting chief until the uncertified guy got hired. I wonder if someone got preference because of skin color? KPD Assistant Chief Margaret Young might want to talk with a lawyer, she might have suffered discrimination based on her gender, her race, or her professionalism.....

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

Is it true that you get a test based on the color of your skin? Hmm, we have the alleged white women senator in MA says she's Native American. Can a white man claim to be a black woman and get to take the test for black women to be chief of REAL killeen police????

AFE7Vet

The Democrat Party has ruined urban America. Yet its negative influence shows no sign of abating (even with a Republican-controlled Congress and POTUS). In spite of some positive influences, overall, Democrat policies (at all levels) have resulted in: a weakening of Judeo-Christian principles/values, increasing crime & lawlessness, the break-down of traditional families, and deteriorating race relations across America.

Compared to larger cities, problems here in Killeen are small-scale (though crime is becoming an epidemic). However, some of the benefits of living here is the military community, the colleges and university, and the fact that patriotism is high.

Perhaps eventually the ‘Republican Revolution’ will make its way into this community. If it does, life in Killeen should improve (for all citizens).

MAGA!

THUGNIFICENT KILLED ME

Plenty of time to backslap, shuck N jive, handshake, meet N greet, smile all cheesy N stuff, but the PRETEND CoP of REAL KILLeen police still working on that certification, I guess. What I'm hearing is that is just a ploy. Dude is supposed to become BIG cheese of all KILLeen by becoming CITY Manager.

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

@THUGNIFICENT KILLED ME You make me laugh, but you be spitting that truth, too. Pretend CHIEF of REAL Killeen Police but dude ain't certified as a chief, never was certified, but keeps getting them chief jobs. Can a person get a physician job without the right credentials? How is that possible?

eyewatchingu

Ok I get it, I understand why we need a Black Chief of Police. For some reason our Black community don't trust white cops, so we have to put a unlicensed person in plain clothes and pay them 180k a year to pretend He is a cop, so we can get the Blck community to turn in the gang bangers, thieves, drug dealers and so the black community can keep livening in a 1930's bubble of hate.

Wow keep wasting tax payer money on bull shit. This is just a large amount of bull being shoveled because of the city council members that belong to Naacp, this is how Fleming and the others got voted in, by promising to bring this inapt failure of a cop to our town.

KDH new how about doing a update on where he is at on his certs. Not very far I hear.. I hear he has a little trouble answering the major questions, after that Black woman that owned the company that prep the cops for theses test just recently got busted selling the answers to Black Officers. No Joke its a fact, shes locked up and that means actually having to know the test answers.
I guess we can do what the NAACP forced many cities to do, that was forced the fire dept to change their test, because the NAACP said it wasn't fair to blacks. Because the naacp said blacks have problems taking hard test, so the black firemen get a different test them white firemen.
I guess we can have two test, one for Blacks and one for whites. Heck while we at it, since the black business owners are now, refuseing to hire whites in Killeen, and refusing service to whites, maybe we should just start putting signs up again.
Black store only signs would be great on the store doors, along with Black cops only.
So for now on, since I am white, I will only shop at white stores and only white cops can talk to me, if a black cop tries to pull me over, I am going to jump out of my car and start running, then I am going to scream and yell how the black cops are hurting me, then I am going to sue the city of Killeen for being racist against white people.

Yep Nash King and fleming the two biggest racist in our city have now brought our city back to the days of black and white signs.

BTW Back business owners, do understand its illegal to hire base on skin color!

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

@eyewatchingu Tells us useful stuff, and shares the TRUTH no one else will.

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