Killeen Police Chief Charles “Chuck” has met and spoken with plenty of people during his five months in the city. He didn’t realize that so many would show up to watch him be sworn in.
Close to 200 people crammed into a room in the Killeen Police Department Headquarters Friday to watch Kimble be sworn into the force as a licensed police officer.
The room in which the ceremony was held was so filled that media members were not allowed inside. A Herald photographer and reporter were told to leave prior to Kimble swearing in. Kimble did talk to reporters after the ceremony.
KPD did send a press release late Thursday about the Friday ceremony, but it did mention if the public was invited or the time of the event.
“He (Kimble) will be joined by family, friends and department personnel during his swearing in celebration,” according to the release.
Anyone who becomes a police officer outside the state of Texas must go through a licensing procedure when they move to Texas. Kimble, who was a police chief in North Carolina prior to the Killeen job, was given a year to complete all of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement requirements necessary. He finished them all in about five months.
“I didn’t realize the number of people I’ve actually spoken to, and I’ve had a conversation with almost everybody in that room,” Kimble said. “I never really put a number to it until now, but I’m excited to share my special occasion with them.”
There were several guest speakers, but one who stood out to Kimble was Rep. Scott Cosper, R-Killeen. Cosper stood before the audience and said that his colleagues in Austin, state representatives from all over, have asked him about the new police chief in Killeen.
“I didn’t know that the new police chief in Killeen really reached out that far,” he said.
In a December interview with the Herald, Kimble said he planned on becoming licensed by the end of January. While many enjoyed the recent Super Bowl on Feb. 4 by gorging on buffalo wings, dip and beer, the chief hit the books. He had to, his exam was the next day.
“When I marked that day on the calendars, I didn’t realize the Super Bowl was the day before it,” he said. “I stuck by it though, I excused myself from a couple of Super Bowl parties and studied. I caught the second half.”
Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra was among the public officials on hand. Gregory Johnson, Juan Riviera and Shirley Fleming, all members of the city council, were on hand as well, as was City Manager Ron Olson.
“I’m just saying we’re excited,” Segarra said. “He’s going to do a lot of great things, he comes from another place with a fresh perspective and he’s got some new ideas, some of that is already evident.”
Assistant police Chief Margaret Young stood in as the interim chief before Kimble took over. She’s been with the department for 28 years, and has seen the swearing-in of three chiefs, but said that she’s never seen such a big turn out.
“He’s done an excellent job at reaching out to the community and getting to them,” she said. “That’s taxing, but that’s what he wants to do.”