A small group of residents gathered Thursday at the Killeen Police Department’s North Precinct headquarters to participate in a community forum.

The event gave those attending a chance to meet department officials, who were on hand to answer questions and address concerns.

Police Chief Dennis Baldwin began the forum with an overview of the Killeen crime rate, which he said dropped about 31 percent from 2010 to 2013, even as the city’s population continued to rise.

“There’s all sort of things that helped get that number down ... but it all boils down to community support,” Baldwin said.

Crime trends

The forum also enabled department officials to present residents with information about crime trends.

Lt. Laura Duskie gave attendees tips on how to prevent vehicle burglaries. Duskie urged them to lock their car doors and not leave items such as phones, purses or weapons in unattended vehicles.

Lt. Frank Plowick presented information on popular scams in the Killeen area, many of which involved criminals using Craigslist to sell nonexistent merchandise or pass bad checks to unsuspecting victims.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it really

is,” Plowick said.

Questions from residents at the forum touched on several topics, including enforcing curfew for minors and speeding along Central Texas Expressway and in school zones.

Chet Southworth, 57, attended December’s community forum, during which he raised concerns about panhandling on Veterans Memorial Boulevard.

On Thursday, Southworth said the department apparently responded to his concern.

“I did not see another peddler there again,” said Southworth, who came to the forum to discuss a similar issue in another part of Killeen. “I thought they were very responsive.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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