Killeen’s new police chief faces the daunting task of cracking down on a citywide problem.
After rising crime rates and what has been a violent summer, the city of Killeen is now turning to newly appointed police chief, Charles Kimble for answers.
“There’s no secret that the numbers are rising and have been rising,” Kimble said.
He was officially sworn in at the beginning of September taking on a difficult role. Killeen has been named on multiple crime study lists as one of the most dangerous cities in the state of Texas. Kimble said changing that is his number one priority.
“The number one thing that we’re going to focus on, everything that we do, every piece of paper that we work on, every project that we work on is going to work to drive down crime numbers,” he said.
Kimble will face a number of challenges – among them a limited budgets and possible cutbacks on city resources. However, he said he is focused on making sure no officers are taken off the streets and is working on a plan to put more law enforcement on the ground.
“We may have to look at people’s responsibilities, I think as we look to put more officers on the streets and relook at our specialized positions,” Kimble said. “we can come up with a comprehensive plan to put more officers on the street to combat crime.”
Part of Kimble’s plan for making Killeen a safer city is opening up the line of communications with the community to establish a sense of trust between the police department and the people it serves.
“You have to be transparent in everything you do, in your deeds, in your communication,” he said. “You have to open the door and let the community know there’s a game plan.”
Kimble is no stranger to working side by side with a military community, having worked in close proximity to Fort Bragg for over two decades. It was one of the things that drew him to Central Texas in the first place.
“When I saw that posting for Killeen, I thought wow this is the perfect job for you,” he said. “I have spent the majority of my career in a military town, dealing with military issues, I am married to a military member, my son is in the military.”
Kimble said he is dedicated to turning the city around and has a clear vision for the future.
“In five years, I want to see those numbers down, I want to see those crime numbers down,” Kimble said. “I want to see us off those lists that you were talking about. I want to see the city of Killeen talk about the transformation that happened.”