A former Killeen councilman this week expressed his concern over the council’s lack of response to an email he recently sent it.
Larry Cole, who was elected to the council in 2006 and served until the November 2011 recall, sent an email to the council and Mayor Scott Cosper on May 21 regarding no-knock warrants.
The issue was brought to the forefront following the death of Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie, who was shot along with three other police officers as the Killeen Police Department’s SWAT team served a no-knock warrant in the early morning hours May 9.
The shootout is currently under investigation with the Killeen Police Department acting as the lead agency with assistance from the Texas Rangers per KPD’s request.
Cole’s email encouraged the city to adopt a policy prohibiting forced entry during the “hours of darkness.”
“I only received two replies to that email. The mayor (Scott Cosper) replied to me and (Councilman Steve) Harris replied to me,” Cole told the council Tuesday during its regular meeting. “Your lack of response to me is an indication to the rest of the public that you’re not as concerned and open to the citizens or their concerns as you (should) be.”
Cole said he hand-delivered the letter to Councilman Juan Rivera and spoke to him about the issue in person.
He also told the council that he frequents Central Texas Talk — an Internet forum where residents share their concerns and opinions — to “dispel rumors, misinformation and conspiracies directed toward the city council.”
‘A strong defender’ of council
“I’ve been a strong defender of this council and your actions,” he told the body.
In a thread posted on the online forum about 6 a.m. Wednesday, Cole stated the council’s “lack of response supports the allegations on (Central Texas Talk) that the council doesn’t listen or care to hear from its constituents.”
He goes on to state that “the least” the council could have done was acknowledge receipt of the email.
Councilman Jonathan Okray said he didn’t respond to the email because it was about an issue currently being investigated.
“I cannot respond until we have factual information regarding that,” he said. “It would be foolish of me to comment on it when I don’t know what happened; I wasn’t there. Our (police) chief is very competent and I believe when he finishes his investigation (the council) will be apprised of it.”
Councilman Terry Clark echoed Okray’s remarks that since the incident Cole was inquiring about is under investigation, he felt it inappropriate to respond.
“We had our second officer in 10 months lose (his) life, and in this case there is somebody sitting in the Bell County Jail,” he said.
“This is not the right time to talk about this. This is the time to allow the police department and the court to take care of their business.”
Councilman Jose Segarra agreed that because of an ongoing investigation, he felt it “better not to say anything.”
Councilman Wayne Gilmore said he didn’t receive Cole’s email.
Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone couldn’t be reached for comment.
Contact Natalie Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7555