The pulled pork wasn’t quite the same as the type he was used to eating back in North Carolina, but that didn’t stop the new Killeen police chief from digging into a sandwich and taking some time to talk to the cook.

Chief Charles Kimble has been on the job for about a month, but Tuesday wasn’t his first National Night Out. Kimble took part in the national event during his time with the Fayetteville Police Department, where he worked for 20 years.

The annual night out against crime — the 21st for Killeen — is designed to heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention, and generate support for local anti-crime efforts, according to a news release from KPD spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez.

Local police departments aimed to strengthen neighborhood spirit and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

KPD asked residents to lock their doors, turn on the lights and head outside from 6 to 9 p.m. to spend the evening with neighbors and police officers.

Kimble started his night out at the Gilmore Senior Center, painting rocks with kids in attendance. Then he made his way to Erin Mills’ home on Illinois Avenue, where Tad Dorroh helped prepare sausage wraps and pulled pork.

“Even one of the kids painting rocks said ‘Wow, I’ve never painted rocks with a cop before.’ And another kid goes ‘he’s not just a cop, he’s the police chief,’” Kimble said. “I said ‘So what? Just cause I’m police chief doesn’t mean I can’t paint rocks.’ Some people work in stores, some people work on cars, and some people are police officers. We’re humans just like you.”

This year’s National Night Out comes less than a week after Killeen matched its criminal homicide total for all of 2016.

The body of Stephen Rowe, 39, from California was found by a mail carrier Thursday lying on Reese Creek Road in south Killeen. Rowe became the 16th death ruled a criminal homicide by Killeen police, a number that matches the previous year’s total homicides. Kimble said that it’s important for police officers to be able to answer questions about the incidents to the extent that they can.

“We’ll have people come up and say ‘Hey, I heard that this person was killed? What happened? Is our neighborhood safe?” Kimble said. “I like talking to people face-to-face, or as we say in police terms, knee-to-knee. Most people just see police from afar, they don’t get to have these conversations everyday like reporters do.”

Lt. Antonia McDaniel has been with the Killeen police for over 16 years, and for a while, he operated out of the North Precinct at 402 N. Second St.

In the past, he made it a point to stop at every neighborhood party before the night was over.

National Night Out gives McDaniel and the rest of the officers who participate in the city a chance to “let the shield down a little bit. Normally when people see cops, it’s in an enforcement or preventative measure.

McDaniel does a lot of extra work in the community raising awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving. But though he might show up to an event with a smile on his face and crack a few jokes, he’s still telling people what to do.

”We’re still saying ‘don’t do this, don’t do that,’” he said. “Here, this is a total ‘I am your neighbor’ feel. We’re here for anything.”

Copperas Cove

Calling it a chance to reach out to the community, the Robertson Avenue Baptist Church in Copperas Cove held its third National Night Out event Tuesday night.

Despite the rain, the church still drew a crowd and kept children entertained.

The event included hot dogs, hamburgers, a bounce house, games and a chance to meet police, fire and rescue personnel. It is the third time the church has held events connected with National Night Out, according to Pastor Norm Melton.

“It is a chance for us to get our name out there and for people to see what we are all about,” Melton said.

The church is located just off of Business Highway 190.

Police, fire and rescue personnel will be meeting people at a number of National Night Out events.

“This is our 20th year of our police department participating in the National Night Out,” said Sgt. Martin Ruiz.

Five block parties were registered with the Copperas Cove Police Department.

“It is always great to see all the citizens getting involved with the department and this also helps the officers to get to know the citizens of our city and our new way of policing,” Ruiz said. “If we all do our part we can help keep this city a safe place to call home.”

Brookview Village Apartments — a retirement center in Copperas Cove — held its fourth annual event with chicken and pizza in the community room.

Property Manager Lisa Leonard said her event has a different twist on the night.

“It gets the residents out of their rooms and gives them a chance to meet their neighbors, policemen, firefighters and emergency personnel,” Leonard said. “It gives them a sense of community, not just a place to live.”

More than 50 residents attended the event in the community room.

Some other NNO Copperas Cove events included: Jase Court, the 2000 block of Miles Street, and an event near the corner of Ashley and Lindsey drives.

Harker Heights

With an onslaught of pouring rain Tuesday evening, many Harker Heights residents had to stop their annual National Night Out block parties early.

However, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of some party hosts, who continued their festivities into the evening, including Jimmy Tittle, sister Barbara Thompson, and mother Barbara Tittle.

“I love the neighborhood,” Jimmy Tittle said. “I’ve lived here for 40 years and I love the community. I just want to make sure that everything in the community is going good.”

About 100 people attended the Tittles’ block party at 302 Mary Jo Drive in Harker Heights, including a visit from the police department and Mayor Spencer Smith. Tittle was a block captain of his neighborhood for 18 years and has been hosting National Night Out for 21 years.

“The police department and me, we cannot stop all the crime that goes on in this city,” Tittle said. “But we can take a bite out of crime if we all work together. If we get the community working together with the police department then we can all do it together.

For his efforts assisting the police department and his community, Tittle was awarded a third proclamation from Mayor Smith.

He was awarded two from former Mayor Mary Gauer in 1999 and 2002.

254-501-7552 | sullivan@kdhnews.com

(5) comments

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@Pharon Enochs: What I am hearing is 'if the State of Texas requires certification', which may take a considerable amount of time, then 'how is filling the job of of a Police Chief at all'???? Maybe we in effect do not have a chief of police as the interim police chief has relinquished her position. Maybe 'we have a rudderless ship of fools'....

It would be like the TxDot requiring a license from the city of Killeen 'that apparently they do not possess, but they can require 'other's to have the permit.

Yes, I agree, the 'new Police Chief' should have been given the opportunity to set his own policies, but alas that was not to be and I think the 'old police chief' was still dictating, another thing that should not have been allowed. If he is 'filling the position of an Deputy City Manager, then he should not be in the position of dictating what another department is/was doing. Either he is filling the place of a Deputy City Manager or is is dictating what the police department is doing and if I remember correctly, 'he was not able to return to the position of being a Chief of Police as he accepted the position of interim city manager. What do we have here a city council/city manager arrangement or a king of Killeen.... Do we an either/or type of arrangement????

I noticed a complete and dismal showing from the secret meeting last night the last Thursday night meeting/forum on the chemical plant, whether or not to let this proceed. But apparently it was so secret that it was not even mentioned and this tabloid, I thought, said that was one of the topics to be discussed. If I remember correctly, that was a subject, the forum on the KEDC's wanting to build a chemical plant on their property and not having a thorough knowledge of chemical plants in general especially one that has bulk storage of Sulfuric acid and Hydrogen Hydroxide in the chemical process of completing the formulation of Hydrogen Peroxide. Was that even a topic of discussion and if so 'what was the outcome'???? I do not think that this fall under what is classed 'a dog and pony show, or the Texas Open Meeting Laws, or some such mechanism. I am extremely interested in this outcome and I'm pretty sure some of the other 'citizens' are also interested. So what gives, was there a meeting in which this Chemical Plant was discussed or not and if no, then 'when we expect to have a ruling on this most important matter'. The status of having a dangerous facility so close to a populated area, and coupled with the fact that they are now saying that of the 28 total employees, 7 of which are going to be filled by, as you can say foreign party's, and out of the remaining 21 personnel, there is a chance that this would be filled by 'part time personnel thus not benefiting anyone at all as they would fall in the category of part time help that would fall in the range of 'less than $30,000 dollars per annum and that would be of no or practically no benefit to this town at all.

I feel it is most important to quell this disturbance quickly rather than have it drag out.

If this newspaper could/would go through and pick out the minutes of such a meeting, it would be of benefit to all of us citizens of this fair city.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Pharon Enochs

The following comments are indeed the opinions of Pharon Enochs. I agree it would have been better optics if the chief had worn a uniform, however it maybe he is not a chief yet rather an administer. He needs to be certified by a state agency which is charged with the responsibility of certification of Texas police officers. I am not sure of all which is required for an out of state certified police officer/chief to obtain his Texas police officer certification but it is time consuming. Speaking of uniforms in the Killeen police department there is a wide variety of uniforms. One of the changes I would make is to make it a "unified " police department is, to allow only a very few officers to wear anything other than the official uniform of the patrol officers. If this was the case the public as well as the bad guys would see a lot more uniformed police officers and this could deter some crime. I felt the new chief was done an injustice when changes to the police department were made after the chief position was filled. It seemed to me he should have been allowed to come in , acess the department, talk with people get to know the operations, ask question, look at the staffing of the police, look at positions which are staffed by certified police officers and would be better served by civilians ,look for positions which are doing basically the same tasks, consolidate job tasks when possible and then make the changes he feels needs to be made and not rely on everything he is told but bottom line do something. The easiest and most notable change he could make is to change the hours of work going from I believe the department is on a ten hour shift to an eight hour shift or a twelve hour shift. I would caution on making a quick decision on this major change. It may be well known that most workers hate change and change have to be sold to the workers to maintain moral , efficient work habits and be able to maintain their life styles such as day care for their tender age children, long range plans. Any change of work hour schedules has it's pros and cons. For example a 12 hour schedule shows on paper you can have more workers on duty. I n police work it had been found use of force incidents go up, officer safety becomes more lax because of fatigue. Studies also show more overtime is a factor in twelve hour shifts. Ten hour shifts has is pros and cons as well, less people on the road and some others. I would hope by now the new chief has done some of the things I mentioned and has had a meeting with his staff and informed the city manager of his plans . He may have found jobs which like I mentioned were filled by police officers which would be better served by citizens and asked to make some minor budget adjustments to get these officers out fighting crime rather than doing a job he is not suited for. It takes a fist full of money and close to seven months to go from Joe Blow to Officer Joe Blow and then put him in a civilian position is poor use of personnel. It is much cheaper in the long run to hire civilians rather than use trained police officers for these jobs. It matters that the chief do something soon or the people will see the city and the chief are content to remain static and continue on as per usual. He might ascertain if any old retired police officers are bored and would like to volunteer their services. Someone would need to decide legally as to the limitation which would be needed for the tasks they would be asked to do. The retired officers would need to understand they are volunteers nothing more. The department personnel would have to understand their jobs are not in jeopardy. because of the volunteers. I have read other departments have done this and by all I have read it has worked out quite well. God bless America, President Trump and John Wayne wherever he may be.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@eyewatchingu: I hear you and I have to say this - 'There are no Top Cops in this city, only best friends, some one to hold your hand, synthesize with you', but there are no 'Top Cops'.

Copy: '21st National Night Out celebrated in Killeen'. End of copy.

So what has changed with the statement, '21st National Night Out', this newspaper story does reflect the fact that 'It's the 21st celebration in Killeen, but the celebration of this area as it talks about Harker Heights, Copperas Cove in addition to Killeen.

This man has been in his position for a month now and was given the job almost 2 to 3 months ago, and what 'new and inventive programs has he implemented'????

None, it's the same old 6's and 8's with I think it is '4 murder's since he took possession of this office'. All we are getting is 'flower child philosophy', boy doesn't he look great.

I personally don't care whether his picture is plastered in this newspaper every day or not, what I want, and require, is a police chief who is dedicated to 'getting the job done, coming up with law enforcement policy and plans, not grand standing'.

Copy: 'Local police departments aimed to strengthen neighborhood spirit and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.'

Continuation of copy: 'KPD asked residents to lock their doors, turn on the lights and head outside from 6 to 9 p.m. to spend the evening with neighbors and police officers.' End of copy.

Is this the way our police department is going to function, 'neighborhoods are organized and fighting back', and KPD asked residents to lock their doors, turn on the lights'????

We used to have a Texas that was strong on law enforcement, that every one could 'go out and not have their homes barricaded against an intruder, but not anymore'. We have become 'The Town That Wasn't'.

Let me be frank, 'Our original constitution was written that says people are to be free. I refrain from using the word 'men' because it would just start another row and believe me, 'We have had enough rows in the past 35 years'. But needless to say, 'these were some pretty smart individuals' for that in time and yes, for our day in time'. These men knew what it was to be oppressed by a society that 'oppressed everybody'. In that light, they wrote a constitution that was a Democratic Republic', in which the rights of the majority prevailed. I'm sad to say 'that is not the question now'.

What was the outcome of last night's meeting???? Does any citizen, other than the few who attended the meeting know???? Is this 'transparency' or is it more of the same???? It's more, business as usual, more of the same, and it goes on and on.

@eyewatchingu:
Copy: 'I as a Taxpayer, ratepayer, and home owner want to see this so called Chief in a uniform and in a patrol car like all other Chief's do in any other state.' End of copy.

I think this says it all, 'Don't do as I say, do as I do'. This city 'needs a man of action, that will clean up this city as it has never been cleaned up before', and apparently we don't one now.

I, as a citizen of this nation, stand on my right as pertains to the 1st Amendment, not to be infringed upon, so don't place this 'in the farthest reaches of of this newspaper. You know, 'the 1st Amendment is not only for the press, but for us all'.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

eyewatchingu

Wow, all I have seen from this men is photo op after photo op just like in NC, he don't even wear a uniform like normal police chief's do. We have had a crime spike since he got here. What a shame, and very shameful he isn't even proud to wear a the Uniform, I don't think this man understands he is a Chief of Police and should proudly wear a uniform, he isn't a plain clothes detective. Another waste of money for Killeen tx, money we could have used to get a Top Cop in here to do a job, and not show boat. Once again Killeen wasted money for an agenda that will only increase our crime rate and cause more money lost. I as a Taxpayer, ratepayer, and home owner want to see this so called Chief in a uniform and in a patrol car like all other Chief's do in any other state. He shouldn't be and he isn't here to hob knob, he is here to do a job. Get him in a uniform and on the streets, out of the camera view and into the view of the gangster's disciples, and the other 13 or so gangs in our town. Now I am seeing why spring lake got rid of him! One more shooting and I will find a way to get him out of our city, our city manger needs to wake up and get rid of this man before our town becomes a bigger trash dump then it is, This man needs to go back to policing colleges.
We need, we want and we deserve a top cop! By the end of next month our crime will have increased more then it should have with this man in office, look at the stats people, look at the increase in just the few months he has been here, same thing happened in spring lake, all he is doing is milking the system, and it only seems he came here to be with his women friends. Hmmm

wilyoldvet69

I agree with every bit of what you said. This guy is nothing but a grandstander, someone who just wants the title of "Chief" collect a check and go home. I kinda found it strange that he didn't stay in Spring Lake, NC that long. Now we know why. Like you said, he doesn't even have a uniform on and is parading around like he's doing something. That should tell you to get armed, get your CHL, and police your own neighborhoods. Because this "Chief" sure isn't and the unfortunate Officers that do care will have hard time doing so in a town where the crime rate is steadily rising. What's even more sad is when will the city manager say enough is enough?

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