For close to two hours and between laughs, representatives of the Killeen Police Department and Killeen residents spoke on various ways to help and support the city’s youth.
On Thursday evening inside the Grace Christian Church Family Life Center, about 100 people and dozens of police officers talked on issues that affect the community.
“One day out of the year, we host these forums but we did a new spin on it this year,” said Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble.
The new spin was a more relaxed atmosphere as two of Killeen’s finest served as emcees at the event and there was a giveaway — two Ring camera doorbells.
The device streams live audio and video directly to a smartphone or tablet, allowing homeowners to stay connected whether in the kitchen or across town.
The constant topic during the early evening gathering was Killeen youth and social media, particularly a focus after an incident in late August where a Killeen middle school student and an adult were arrested after police said they were involved in a social media post that threatened violence at three local schools.
The suspects have since been charged with making terroristic threats.
Lt. Frank Plowick said the department has since received another similar tip, but it was not in relation to the city as the threat was from Fort Stockton to a school in another state.
“We are continuing working diligently with the KISD (Killeen Independent School District) and KISD police,” Plowick said. “We have the latest technology and a great partnership with our local court system.”
A few new ideas from the police department that focused on youth were announced Thursday. One initiative is to target troubled youth in each of the local schools and possibly partnering with the department in a mentoring program.
Emcee Lt. Betty Adams of KPD’s internal services department, said the idea is still in the works.
Another idea — offered by an audience member — is to have a citywide youth awards to recognize students who are doing great things for the city.
Kimble stressed to the public that it’s not only about the police helping the youth but the entire community getting involved.
“It’s not just us that have to do the work, it’s all of us,” he said.
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