Killeen, Texas

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Killeen, Texas
—  City  —
Nickname(s): K-Town
Motto: Where freedom grows
Location of Killeen, Texas
Coordinates: 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556°N 97.72667°W / 31.10556; -97.72667Coordinates: 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556°N 97.72667°W / 31.10556; -97.72667
CountryUnited States United States
StateTexas Texas
CountyBell
Government
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Daniel A. Corbin
Terry Clark
Michael R. Lower
 • City ManagerGlenn Morrison
Area
 • Total105.6381 sq mi (273.601 km2)
 • Land103.6381 sq mi (268.421 km2)
 • Water2.0 sq mi (5 km2)
Elevation1,000 ft (300 m)
Population (2011)
 • Total141,752
 • Density2,458.9/sq mi (949.4/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes76540-76549
Area code(s)254
FIPS code48-39148[1]
GNIS feature ID1360642[2]
Websitewww.killeentexas.gov
 
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Killeen, Texas
—  City  —
Nickname(s): K-Town
Motto: Where freedom grows
Location of Killeen, Texas
Coordinates: 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556°N 97.72667°W / 31.10556; -97.72667Coordinates: 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556°N 97.72667°W / 31.10556; -97.72667
CountryUnited States United States
StateTexas Texas
CountyBell
Government
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Daniel A. Corbin
Terry Clark
Michael R. Lower
 • City ManagerGlenn Morrison
Area
 • Total105.6381 sq mi (273.601 km2)
 • Land103.6381 sq mi (268.421 km2)
 • Water2.0 sq mi (5 km2)
Elevation1,000 ft (300 m)
Population (2011)
 • Total141,752
 • Density2,458.9/sq mi (949.4/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes76540-76549
Area code(s)254
FIPS code48-39148[1]
GNIS feature ID1360642[2]
Websitewww.killeentexas.gov

Killeen is a city in Bell County, Texas, in the United States. According to the 2010 census the population of Killeen is 127,921 making it the twenty-first most populous city in the state of Texas. It is the "principal city" of the Killeen–TempleFort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Killeen is directly adjacent to the main cantonment of Fort Hood, and as such its economy heavily depends on the post and the soldiers (and their families) stationed there.

Contents

History

In 1881, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway extended its tracks through central Texas, buying 360 acres (1.5 km2) a few miles southwest of a small farming community known as Palo Alto, which had existed since about 1872. The railroad platted a 70-block town on its land and named it after Frank P. Killeen, the assistant general manager of the railroad. By the next year the town included a railroad depot, a saloon, several stores, and a school. Many of the residents of the surrounding smaller communities in the area moved to Killeen and by 1884 the town had grown to include about 350 people, served by five general stores, two gristmills, two cotton gins, two saloons, a lumberyard, a blacksmith shop, and a hotel. Killeen expanded as it became an important shipping point for cotton, wool, and grain in western Bell and eastern Coryell counties. About 780 people lived in Killeen by 1900. Around 1905, local politicians and businessmen convinced the Texas legislature to build bridges over Cowhouse Creek and other streams, doubling Killeen's trade area. A public water system began operation in 1914 and its population had increased to 1,300 residents.

Until the 1940s Killeen remained a relatively small and isolated farm trade center, but this changed drastically after 1942, when Camp Hood (re-commissioned as Fort Hood in 1950) was created as a military training post to meet the demands of the Second World War. Laborers, construction workers, contractors, soldiers, and their families moved into the area by the thousands, and Killeen became a military boomtown. The opening of Camp Hood also radically altered the nature of the local economy, since the sprawling new military post covered almost half of Killeen's farming trade area. The loss of more than three hundred farms and ranches led to the demise of Killeen's cotton gins and other farm related businesses. New businesses were started to provide services for the military camp. Killeen suffered a recession when Camp Hood was all but abandoned after the end of the Second World War, but when Fort Hood was established as a permanent army post in 1950, the city boomed again. Its population increased from about 1,300 in 1949 to 7,045 in 1950, and between 1950 and 1951 about a hundred new commercial buildings were constructed in Killeen.

By 1955, Killeen had an estimated 21,076 residents and 224 businesses. Troop cutbacks and transfers in the mid-fifties led to another recession in Killeen which lasted until 1959, when various divisions were returned to Fort Hood. (Elvis Presley even lived in Killeen for a time during his stint in the army.) The town continued to grow through the 1960s, especially after the Vietnam War led to increased activity at Fort Hood. By 1970 Killeen had developed into a city of 35,507 inhabitants and had added a municipal airport, a new municipal library, and a junior college (Central Texas College). By 1980, when the census counted 49,307 people in Killeen, it was the largest city in Bell County. By 1990 its population had increased to 63,535, and 265,301 people lived in the Killeen/Temple metropolitan area. In addition to shaping local economic development after 1950, the military presence at Fort Hood also changed the city's racial, religious, and ethnic composition. No blacks lived in the city in 1950, for example, but by the early 1950s the town had added Marlboro Heights, an all-black subdivision, and in 1956 the city school board voted to integrate the local high school. The city's first resident Catholic priest was assigned to the St. Joseph's parish in 1954, and around the same time, new Presbyterian and Episcopal churches were built. By the 1980s the city had a heterogeneous population including whites, blacks, Mexican Americans, Koreans, and a number of other foreign nationals.

The year 1991 was a roller coaster year for Killeen. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in the late summer of 1990, the city prepared for war; sending thousands of troops from the Second Armored Division and the First Cavalry Division to the Middle East. On October 16, 1991, George Hennard murdered 23 people and then committed suicide in the Luby's in Killeen (see Luby's massacre). In December 1991, one of Killeen's high school football teams, the Killeen Kangaroos, won the 5-A Division I state football championship by defeating Sugar Land Dulles 14–10 in the Astrodome.

By 2000, the census listed Killeen's population as 86,911, although it is now over 100,000, making the greater Killeen area one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation. A large number of military personnel from Killeen have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of April 2008, over 400 of its soldiers have died in the two wars.[3]

On November 5, 2009, a gunman opened fire on people at the Fort Hood military base with two handguns, killing 13 and wounding 30. The alleged gunman, Nidal Malik Hasan, sustained 4 gunshot wounds causing paralysis from the waist down (see Fort Hood shooting). In 2011, Killeen got media attention from a new television series called Surprise Homecoming, hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, about military families that have loved ones over seas returning home.

Geography

Killeen is located at 31°6′20″N 97°43′36″W / 31.10556°N 97.72667°W / 31.10556; -97.72667 (31.105591, -97.726586)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.4 square miles (92 km2), of which, 35.3 square miles (91 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.14%) is water.

Climate

       Month        Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep Oct  Nov Dec Record High         88   94   96   98   100  107  109  107 112  102  91  82 Average High        58   63   70   78   84   91   95   96  89   80   68  60 Average Low         34   38   45   53   61   69   72   71  65   56   44  36 Record Low           5    2   19   32   44   51   55   56  42   24   19  -2 Average precip.    1.66 2.46 2.93 2.46 4.49 3.70 1.34 1.85 3.13 3.23 2.93 2.70 

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 127,921 people, 48,052 households, and 33,276 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,458.9 people per square mile (949.3/km²). There were 53,913 housing units at an average density of 999.9 per square mile (386.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.1% White, 34.1% Black, 0.8% Native American, 4% Asian, 1.4% Pacific Islander, 7.9% from other races, and 6.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.9% of the population.

There were 48,052 households out of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.2% under the age of 20, 38.7% from 20 to 39, 22.8% from 40 to 64, and 5.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,370, and the median income for a family was $36,674. The per capita income for the city was $20,095, compared to the national per capita of $39,997. About 11.2% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.5% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

In 2007, Coldwell Banker ranked Killeen, Texas as the most affordable housing market in the United States with an average cost of $136,725.[5]

Economy

According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[6] the top employers in the city are:

#Employer# of Employees
1Fort Hood58,187
2Killeen Independent School District6,000
3Central Texas College1,360
4MetroPlex Hospital1,300
5Fort Hood Exchange1,218
6City of Killeen1,100
7First National Bank1,000
8Sallie Mae (Now Aegis)936
9Killeen Mall800
10Wal-Mart650

Arts and culture

Vive Les Arts Theatre

Killeen is also home to Vive Les Arts Theatre, a full-time arts organization which produces several Main Stage and Children's Theatre shows each year. This community theatre relies on local talent and contributions to produce its high-quality productions. Recent shows include the long-running Broadway hit Cats, Ain't Misbehavin' (a tribute to the songs of Fats Waller) and All Shook Up (a jukebox musical featuring the songs of Elvis Presley).

Music scene

Killeen also has a well established music scene with varying genres. Rapper Scarface from Houston has signed local group Green City to his label with the members of the group also enjoying varying levels of success, and Downsiid (a rap/rock/soul hybrid) are currently enjoying national tours and Bodog Battle of the Band contests. Their debut album with Virgin Records, Life of Lies, will be released in late 2010. Killeen is also home R&B singer, rapper, and songwriter Jon Taylor and also to Metal/Grunge sensation, Dear Cyanide, who began as an all military act and have evolved into one of the local areas favorite attractions, with thrashy riffs and smooth vocals (not to mention gallons of fake blood that ends up all over the band, the crowd, and everything in between).

Government

2011 Recall

On November 8, 2011 five members of the Killeen City Council were recalled. As a consequence, the remaining members of the council will not be able to achieve a quorum, and the City Council is in effect disbanded until at least three seats are filled. It is believed that this will not occur until May 2012.[7]

Local government

According to the city’s 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $133.4 million in Revenues, $119.0 million in expenditures, $523.3 million in total assets, $219.9 million in total liabilities, and $90.4 million in cash and investments.[6]

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[6]

City DepartmentDirector
City ManagerGlenn Morrison
Assistant City ManagerJohn Sutton
Building OfficialEarl Abbott
City AttorneyKathryn H. Davis
City SecretaryPaula Miller
Chief of PoliceDennis M. Baldwin
Director of AviationVacant
Director of Community DevelopmentLeslie Hinkle
Director of Convention & Visitor’s BureauConnie Kuehl
Director of FinanceBarbara Gonzales
Director of FleetKim Randall
Director of General Services
Director of Human ResourcesDebbie Maynor
Director of Information TechnologyDonald Fine
Director of Library ServicesDeanna Frazee
Director of PlanningDr. Ray Shanaa
Director of Public InformationHilary Shine
Director of Public WorksVacant
Director of Solid Waste and Drainage ServicesVacant
Director of Street ServicesJohn Koester
Director of Utility ServicesRobert White
Director of Volunteer ServicesWill Brewster
Director of Water & SewerRobert White
Fire ChiefJerry Gardner

Education

Public schools

The Killeen Independent School District (KISD) is the largest school district between Round Rock and Dallas, encompassing Killeen, Harker Heights, Fort Hood, Nolanville, and rural west Bell County. KISD has, as of 2005, thirty elementary schools (PK-5), eleven middle schools (6-8), four high schools (9-12), and six specialized campuses. KISD's four high schools and mascots are the Killeen High School Kangaroos (the original city-wide high school), the Ellison High School Eagles, Harker Heights High School Knights, and the Shoemaker High School Grey Wolves.

Private schools

Memorial Christian Academy (K-12) is also located in Killeen.

Creek View Academy (previously Destiny School), a K-9 charter school of Honors Academy, is in Killeen.[8]

Colleges and universities

Central Texas College was established in 1965 to serve Bell, Burnet, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, Mills and San Saba counties in addition to Ft Hood. CTC offers more than 40 associate degrees and certificates of completion.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas opened on September 1, 1999 as a branch campus of nearby Tarleton State University. After the campus enrolled 1,000 full-time equivalent students, Tarleton State University-Central Texas became a separate institution within the Texas A&M University System. The university offers bachelor's and master's degrees.

Media

Killeen's main newspaper is the Killeen Daily Herald, which has been publishing under different formats since 1890.[9] The paper was one of four owned by the legendary Texas publisher Frank W. Mayborn, whose wife remains its editor and publisher.

The Herald also publishes the Fort Hood Herald, an independent publication in the Fort Hood area, not authorized by Fort Hood Public Affairs and the Cove Herald for the residents of Copperas Cove which is a weekly paper.

The official paper of Ft. Hood is The Fort Hood Sentinel, an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army that is editorially independent of the U.S. government and military.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Killeen is served by a small regional airfield known as Skylark Field (ILE), the larger Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK), and the HOP public bus transit system. The HOP buses are easily identified by their teal and purple color exteriors. The HOP recently purchased new buses with the new color green.

Major highways that run through Killeen are U.S. Highway 190 (Central Texas Expressway (or CenTex), Business Loop 190 (Veterans Memorial Boulevard), State Highway 195, Spur 172 (leading into Fort Hood main gate), and Interstate 35 (10 miles away in Belton).

Public safety

The city of Killeen is protected by two municipal civil service departments, the Killeen Fire Department and the Killeen Police Department.

The Killeen Fire Department is led by the current Fire Chief, Chief Jerry Gardner. Chief Gardner has been the Fire Chief since 2006 when he joined KFD after leading the Pasadena Fire Department in the Houston area for many years. Chief Gardner is assisted in his duties by three deputy chiefs; DC Steve Buchanan, DC Kenneth Hawthorne, and DC Brian Brank. In addition to the staff officers, the staff is supplemented and assisted by several secretaries and paid assistants.

The Killeen Fire Department is separated into three separate divisions; Training, Fire Prevention, and Operation. The latter being broken into three shifts; A, B, and C.

The training division is also responsible for a few community outreach programs.
Child Safety Seat Class
The Killeen Fire Department holds classes regarding child safety seats every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. The class will discuss the values of proper child safety installation, as well as aid in installing your privately purchased seat. Also on a limited basis the Fire Department has Child Safety Seats available to low income families.
Child Immunization
The Killeen Fire Department hosts annual immunization drives. These are no-cost shot clinics aimed at both civilian and military families. They are hosted at the beginning of the school year during the end of summer vacation. They are also hosted on a monthly basis on every second Saturday (except for August) from 10:00-2:00 at the Killeen Fire Training Center. Again these are no-cost to the individual, and it’s aimed at providing a better standard of living for the citizens of central Texas.
It is responsible for the day-to day operations of the fire department. The Operations Division is responsible for in excess of 12,000 ambulance calls and 6,000 fire calls annually. The Operation Division is led by Deputy Chief Steven Buchanan and is divided equally amongst three shifts each rotating on duty for 24 hours followed by 48 hours off. The schedule is designed so that there is a full complement of personnel 24/7/365. Each shift is further divided into two Battalions which are led by Battalion Captains.

Battalion 1 is headquartered at Central Fire Station and is led by BC Joel Secrist (A-shift), BC Leon Adamski (B-shift), and BC Cody Simmons (C-Shift). Battalion-1 encompasses Fire Stations 1, Central, 3, and 4 which protect the older northern portion of the city. Battalion 2 is headquartered at Fire Station #8 and is led by BC Bill Brooks (A-shift), BC Clay Brooks (B-shift), and BC Linda Brooks (C-shift). Battalion-2 encompasses fire stations 5, 6, 7, and 8 protecting the southern portion of the city in addition to providing protection to the extraterritorial jurisdiction in the rural area south of the city limits.

Currently the department provides emergency services from 8 fire stations strategically placed throughout the city. Nearly two hundred personnel staff 5 Engine Companies, 2 Ladder Companies, 7 Ambulances, and one Aircraft Rescue Firefighting unit. In addition to the line companies, the two battalion captains are assisted with EMS supervision by the EMS Lieutenant assigned to each shift.

KFD recently relocated Fire Station #1 to a new facility on Westcliff Rd to provide improved responses in the northern areas of the city and Fire Station #9 is currently being planned on the southwest area of town to improve protection to the growing population in that area.

Crime

In 2008, there were 885 Violent Crimes and 4757 Non-violent crimes reported in the City of Killeen as part of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Program. According to the FBI’s UCR Program, Violent Crimes are the aggregation of the UCR Part 1 Crimes of murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Non-violent Crimes are the aggregation of the crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.

Killeen’s 2008 UCR Part 1 Crimes break down as follows:

CrimeReported Offenses[10]Killeen Rate[10]Texas Rate[11]U.S. Rate[12]
Murder108.65.65.6
Forcible Rape6656.932.929.4
Robbery216186.4155.2154.0
Aggravated Assault593511.6314.4281.6
Violent Crime885763.5508.2470.6
Burglary17111476.2946.5743.4
Larceny - Theft28772482.22688.92200.1
Motor Vehicle Theft169145.8351.1330.5
Non-violent Crime47574104.23986.63274.0

Rates are crimes per 100,000 population. The Killeen rates are calculated using the estimated 2008 population figure of 115,906 as provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Notable people


Twin towns — Sister cities

Killeen is twinned with San Juan, Puerto Rico.[13]

References

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ Beale, Jonathan (2008-04-09). "Grief hangs over Texas army town". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7336427.stm. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ Most Expensive and Most Affordable Housing Markets
  6. ^ a b c City of Killeen CAFR Retrieved 2009-07-17
  7. ^ [1] Retrieved 2011-11-16
  8. ^ "Contact Us." Creek View Academy. Retrieved on September 6, 2011. "Address: 1001 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd. Ste. 301 Killeen, Texas 76541 "
  9. ^ "Killeen Daily Herald". Killeen Daily Herald. http://www.kdhnews.com/docs/about.aspx. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Texas DPS Crime In Texas 2008, Retrieved 2010-08-27
  11. ^ Texas DPS Crime In Texas 2008, Retrieved 2010-08-27
  12. ^ FBI Uniform Crime Reports - 2008 Crime In The US, Retrieved 2010-08-27[dead link]
  13. ^ "sister cities"

External links