By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
With 16 years of service to the Killeen Police Department, Scott Dickson filled many roles before becoming the department's intelligence manager.
Dickson started his civilian position in the intelligence department as an active police officer when the office first started to use Compstat, a program that allows police departments to allocate resources to different areas by tracking crime and using statistics.
"It is nice to be a geek again," Dickson said. He served 14 and a half years as an acting officer before assuming his current role.
Dickson's job includes numerous management responsibilities, such as looking at populations figures and projecting how many officers Killeen will need in the future. He designs the backend of the department's Web site as well as managing its many functions.
"I try to provide the best department with the best information I can, so they can make the best decision they can," Dickson said.
Dickson also tracks crime throughout Killeen and meets with district commanders to discuss the information he compiles, he said.
"It is nothing that the police haven't been doing since the 1900's with pushpins, but now we can manipulate to see certain information," Dickson said.
When hired in 1991, Dickson was a bicycle unit officer pedaling his way through downtown Killeen. In 1995, Dickson took a position in the Youth Service Unit, where he dealt with crimes against youth and crimes that were committed by youth, he said.
Later, Dickson moved to Crimes Against Persons, where he stayed until 1998. Between 1999 and 2003, he worked in the organized crime unit. Through the years of 1994 to 2002, Dickson also served as a member of the Killeen Police S.W.A.T. Team.
Dickson knew he wanted to be a police officer after he enrolled in college.
"In college, I got bit by the law enforcement bug, then I joined the military," Dickson said.
Dickson joined the Navy knowing that a military background would help him get into law enforcement, he said. While in the Navy, he worked with radar systems, firing systems and experimental computer networking programs.
Basically, we wanted to create a paperless submarine, Dickson said about the messaging asystem he worked on that was be comparable to today's e-mail.
"These are basic things we take for granted now," he said.
The Navy background and his desire to figure out how things work helped qualify him for his position, he said.
"I was the kid that was taking things apart and putting them back together," Dickson said. "And most of the time they worked."