Killeen PD Looking to Fill Over 20 Officer Openings

KILLEEN, TX - The Killeen Police Department is dealing with a drastic officer shortage and opening up nearly two-dozen positions to help control the area's crime rate.

"Just being a part of my community and helping make people aware of what's going on," says Crime-Watch member Danielle Hatfield.   

Hatfield say keeping her neighbors safe is her priority. However, staying ahead of crime has become difficult for Killeen Police - with the department short on 22 officers. 

"Our two biggest goals right now are to reduce crime and improve our relationships with the community. To do that, we obviously need more officers," says Police Lt. Anthony Lourence. 

Police say hiring isn't the problem - retaining them is.

"You know as an example, we've had officers of spouses who are stationed here. So they only work here maybe three or four years and then they leave," Lourence said.  

The department is aiming to fix this problem by recruiting candidates from the community who are more likely to stick around. 

"The more officers we have on the road or investing in cases, that's more eyes and ears and minds to help solve crime or prevent crime," Lourence said.  

As police work to fill the positions, Hatfield is hoping for a safer neighborhood. 

"If people see more of a police presence, they might think a little bit before they commit a crime," Hatfield said.  

Police say they are accepting applications online, with training scheduled to start in early April.

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