By Justin Cox

Killeen Daily Herald

A safer downtown is a better downtown.

The downtown revitalization committee was briefed Thursday by Lt. Michael Click from the Killeen Police Department's public information office.

The numbers showed the total number of calls, or incidents significant enough to call for police presence, in the downtown area in 2007 compared to the calls citywide.

Click said of the 122,000 calls citywide in 2007, 7,900, or 6.5 percent, were located downtown. That figure, Click said, is somewhat skewed because it also includes the 2,700 calls coded at the police department.

Pat Kaufman, who chairs the committee, said it has no intention of using the numbers as a way to see the city take action; they are simply for future comparison purposes.

"We're not revitalizing downtown because we want to get rid of (crime)," Kaufman said. "It's one small part of a huge equation ... Obviously if you have high crime anywhere, people aren't going to want to go there. It's a measurement – our perception may be one thing, and reality may be another. If our perception is way off from reality, it's useless for us, we're dreaming. You've got to find the facts, then you report the facts."

Kaufman said that for the area in which the downtown revitalization will be focused, "the crime is within acceptable parameters."

Kaufman said the same figures will be monitored quarterly, if not monthly, from this point forward by the committee. Click said the numbers are not exact because the committee is simply going to use them as a guide.

"They were wanting an overall picture of the kind of numbers for calls-for-service in the downtown area," Click said. "Then the 2,700 had to be removed because it throws off the number since they were coded at the police department."

The actual total is more like 5,200 in the downtown area. That figure is an approximation, and accounts for 4.26 percent of the total calls.

"If someone comes in and turns themselves in on a warrant, that address is used," he said. "If we don't know the address for a particular crime, we'll use that address to file a report. In addition to that, some detectives use it, or sex offenders who aren't compliant with registration requirements. Twenty-seven percent of those calls though are like traffic stops, subject stops. That's related to the fact that the police department is located (in downtown), so there's going to be a higher number of traffic stops in and around that location."

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