Killeen Police Chief Reacts to Video of Officer Texting and Driving, Not Wearing Seat Belt
Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble has issued a statement after video of a KPD officer texting while driving and not wearing a seat belt.
The video was uploaded Tuesday by Marcus Evans of Killeen, who captioned the footage, "I couldn't help myself I had to record this".
In the footage, an officer is seen driving along South WS Young Drive while looking at her phone. She appears to be typing a message or dialing a number before lifting the phone's mouthpiece to her face. She does not appear to be wearing a seat belt.
WARNING: SOME NSFW LANGUAGE
The video has been shared over 2,400 times. The 418 comments show mixed reactions from the public. Some feel the officer should be punished, as everyday citizens would if they were caught texting and driving. Others say it's legal for law enforcement and emergency responders to use wireless devices while acting in an official capacity, and that the video may not tell the whole story.
KPD Chief Charles Kimble had this to say in a media release:
On August 14, 2019, the Killeen Police Department was made aware of a video circulating on social media that depicted a Killeen police officer driving a marked patrol unit with allegations that the officer was not wearing a seatbelt and was texting while driving. Although both of these violations are minor in nature, we understand that the expectations that our community expects were not met in this incident.
We want to thank the public for bringing this to our attention. We take traffic enforcement and safety seriously and will handle this matter the same.
There is a process in place to handle any allegation of misconduct by an officer, and that process is currently ongoing for this incident.
I'm not sure what to think. While texting and driving are never safe and you and I would get a ticket in a heartbeat for doing it, it is possible the officer was communicating with other first responders about something important and deserves the benefit of the doubt. Then again, maybe she was just ordering a pizza. The video doesn't contain enough information for me to come to any conclusion.
Is there something I missed? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.