Police officials, a councilwoman and community members gathered in an unassuming building in Killeen on Thursday night to discuss a topic on the minds of many in the city that has had five criminal homicides so far this year: crime.
“I’m concerned; I just bought another German shepherd,” said Patsy Bracey, who lives in another district but was drawn to attend the District 2 Community Crime Prevention Forum on Thursday night. Bracey said she has lived in the city for 52 years and a neighborhood watch program is being formed in her neighborhood.
“I think there has been an influx in crime heading this way,” she said. “It used to be mainly in the north side of town. So I need to know how to be safe in my neighborhood.”
The activity center of the Greater Vision Community Church on Stan Schlueter Loop had about 30 people from around the city. Nearly every seat was filled.
One of many meetings scheduled
The forum is just one of many.
“This will be our fourth neighborhood watch meeting, and we have three more scheduled so far,” said Killeen Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King. Anyone in the city is welcome to attend the meetings.
It was a time to build community and exchange information, with KPD’s crime prevention coordinator on hand to answer questions and discuss crime prevention programs offered by the department.
“This is a good time for us to be available to answer any questions people might have and to get the community involved,” said Tammy Moseley, KPD crime prevention coordinator.
She has been with the department for 30 years, so nothing surprises her at this point but she said that listening to questions is a big part of the job.
“It’s a give-and-take,” she said. “We need to know what people are interested in learning about.”
During her presentation, Moseley discussed several KPD programs, such as security surveys, the KPD police academy and the neighborhood watch program.
Chief of Police Charles “Chuck” Kimble joined the conversation, encouraging people to stay in touch with the department so it can solve problems “one piece at a time.”
He said a connected community is a safer community.
Nash-King said, “It’s all about learning how to be safer in your home and building relationships within the community. We all have to get involved.”
The next community event is the Cantabrian Court Clean-Up from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers should sign up at 608 W. Elms Road.
“Our officers will be out there volunteering with the residents,” Kimble said. “When you clean up an area, it makes people realize that people care. We can’t arrest our way out of crime so we have to change mindsets.”