Killeen residents concerned about crime spike but hopeful for city's future

Chris Rogers reports.

KILLEEN - Some Killeen residents are on edge after a seemingly large spike in violent crimes in the recent months.

An alarming spike in crime in the city of Killeen has residents on high alert and law enforcement is looking for solutions. 

“Right now, I think crime is something we need to be concerned about and I want to put as much resources there as I can,” Interim Police Chief Margaret Young said.

In the past two months, the city of Killeen has seen more than one murder, multiple shootings, a mall riot, and a litany of robberies.

It is a trend residents said they have seen intensify in recent years.

“It’s been the past three to four years it has risen a whole bunch,” Killeen resident Arianna Chestnut said.

But just how much has the problem grown year after year?

Channel 6 asked the Killeen Police Department, and IT provided us with the latest numbers showing a total of 80 violent crimes in June 2016. That is compared to 118 violent crimes in June 2017, including 18 rapes, 26 robberies, and 74 aggravated assaults. That does not include the crimes committed so far in July.

Despite those shocking numbers, some residents said they are still holding out hope things will improve.

Killeen resident Kye Robertson said Killeen is home to him.

“I now it’s gotten much worse,” Robertson said. “but I still know there is still good people here.”

And although the crime index went down from May to June, July may be a different story with a murder and at least three shootings already on the books. Still those who call Killeen home remain optimistic and said a little community effort could go a long way.

“It starts at home you know it starts with the parents and then the community,” Chestnut said. “I feel like if we all work together this can be solved.”

Robertson said his hop is that Killeen will be a civil place and he thinks it will be in the future.

Non-violent crimes are up as well from June of 2016. Both city leaders and residents are hoping the introduction of a permanent police chief in the near future will be an important first step in getting to the bottom of this problem. 

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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