Reader says residents must get involved to help police curb crime

To the Editor:

For some time now, I’ve listened to residents complain about crime and their dissatisfaction with our police department.

Crime is a fact of life everywhere, not just Killeen, and our city is not the sleepy little town it once was.

Attacks on our police department anger me.

The police department is currently 26 officers shy of where it should be for a city of this size,  yet I don’t hear any officers complain that they need more help. Our officers get paid 7½ percent less than those in cities of similar size, but I don’t hear any officers complain that they need more money.

What I see day-in and day-out are professionals who take pride in the important job they have. Every officer realizes that he or she can’t be effective in fighting crime without public support. We are their eyes and ears. The information we provide will determine whether a criminal goes to jail or not.

If you can’t be bothered to do your part to make Killeen a better place to live, don’t blame the police. If you’re not willing to give the information that will help them do their job, then you probably shouldn’t waste their time by calling.

For years now, I have enjoyed the opportunity to engage our officers in conversation. I guet a perspective of what it’s like to be in their shoes. One thing comes across loud and clear: They love police work and they’re just regular folks. I share my respect and support for them and I can see that they truly appreciate it.

Every resident in Killeen can make a difference in reducing crime. The great thing is, you don’t have to put yourself at risk to do so.

I applaud Councilwoman Shirley Fleming and her passion for the Neighborhood Watch program. It can be an effective deterrent when neighbors watch out for each other. Shirley or the KPD can assist those interested in starting a program in their neighborhood.

Chief (Charles) Kimble’s strategies have had a positive impact on fighting crime and I thank the Department of Public Safety for their assistance with a very aggressive program of their own.

The bottom line is this: You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem. Be the kind of neighbor you’d like to have and see what happens.

Bill Paquette

Killeen

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