With Tuesday’s vote, the Killeen Police Department will join forces with a state agency to fight crime.
The department requested assistance from the task force in the form of two crime analysts to assist “in combating drug related criminal activity as well as any investigative support or assets they can provide.” On Tuesday, the council approved the KPD’s participation in the free collaboration.
Assistant Police Chief Margaret Young said the task force approved the request in July at no cost to the city or department for the remainder of fiscal year 2019 and all of FY20 in the form of a memorandum of understanding.
“This is the first time (for) us doing this, and I’m excited,” Young told the Herald after the meeting.
A year ago, KPD participated in a multi-agency bust that took more than 5 pounds of methamphetamine and 22 firearms off the streets of Central Texas, Chief Charles Kimble said at the time.
Twenty-eight men, including eight from Killeen, were arrested and charged with federal conspiracy to deliver illegal drugs in an operation that began almost three years earlier and involved law enforcement officials at the federal, state, county and local levels, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Those arrested were members of a street gang with ties to other cities, officials said.
Over a 10-year period, the Killeen Police Department made more than 10,000 drug-related arrests, according to KPD data provided in 2018. Most arrests were for possession or distribution of narcotics and marijuana in various quantities, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia.
The two analysts coming to KPD are not law enforcement officers and will work solely in a supportive role with the department. The understanding is the analysts “not be placed into situations that could be life-threatening since they have not received the appropriate law enforcement training for this type of situation.”
The task force is under the Texas Military Department, composed of the three branches of the military in the state: Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard.
The council voted unanimously to approve the joint effort.
Young said the partnership will begin in about a week due to the agreement’s required signatures from both City Manager Ron Olson and representatives from the task force.
"By partnering with the Texas Counterdrug Task Force KPD’s goal is to increase our crime analysis to assist the patrol officers and the detectives in making the greatest impact on crime in Killeen," she told the Herald Tuesday night. "We strive to place our resources where and when they can do the most good; increased analysis will help us in arresting the most prolific criminals and in combating the crime wherever it is in the city."
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