Killeen municipal judge Mark Kimball said Monday a drop in ticketing and court revenue was due to less Killeen police officers on the street.
“Officers are leaving left and right,” Kimball said. “It’s tough when you have a city of 150,000 and you have 12 units on the road.”
On the heels of a Herald report Sunday on the departure of 17 commissioned officers from KPD’s ranks since August, Kimball discussed the state of city finances and police staffing at City Councilwoman Shirley Fleming’s District 1 advisory committee meeting Monday.
Kimball, who presides over the city’s municipal court, told the group of around 15 about his position and the interaction between the bench and the Killeen police force.
While admitting that pay the city estimates to be 7.5 percent below market average could have an effect on officers leaving, Kimball said the challenge of policing Killeen has pushed some officers off the force.
Kimball said two rookie officers recently departed the department to take a job for less money and fewer calls.
“They went from answering 20 calls a night to two calls, and they said, ‘it’s not about the money,’” Kimball said. “Working this town is not easy.”
The Killeen municipal court adjudicates code enforcement tickets and Class C misdemeanors and below. The municipal judge position is appointed by the Killeen City Council to a four-year term.
Kimball said his own court clerks were woefully underpaid as tight budget constraints continue at City Hall, estimating his employees earn about 30 percent less than average.
“Killeen’s pay structure is disgraceful,” Kimball said. “I have clerks making less than people at McDonald’s, and they handle thousands of cases.”
Advisory committee members on hand discussed code enforcement, domestic violence and more during the meeting.
The committee meets the second Monday of each month at 11 a.m. at The Bloom Coffee Roasters at 2300 E. Rancier Ave.