Are You Prepared for Severe Weather?

severe-weatherSEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS

Texas is always susceptible to severe weather and damaging storms that threaten lives and property. Whether its tornados, severe thunderstorms, lightning, or floods, stay informed and protect yourself against potential severe weather threats in your area.

 

OUTDOOR WARNING SYSTEM

Wichita Falls has 53 Outdoor Warning Sirens. These sirens are used to warn people who are outside during an event. This system is activated when:

1. There is a verified report of a tornado within the City limits or a verified report of a tornado that will be entering the City limits.

2. There is a verified report of sustained winds at or in excess of 58 mph. The term “sustained” is defined as three minutes long.

NOTE:  It is possible that sirens may not be heard while indoors or in loud environments. If there is a threat of severe weather, please monitor local media coverage.

TESTING AND USE

The Outdoor Warning System is tested with an audible signal and silently on the first Monday of each month to ensure that they are working properly. If the weather appears threatening, this monthly test will be canceled.

The sirens can also be used as a public address system to provide a verbal message such as the status of an event or an all clear. This feature is only utilized on an incident by incident basis.

When the sirens are used, residents and visitors are advised to take shelter immediately and tune into the local TV or radio station for additional information.

MONITOR LOCAL TV AND RADIO WEATHER REPORTING

Residents and visitors should monitor weather forecasts so they know when severe weather is expected and how to plan accordingly. Weather forecasts for tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, flooding, snow, ice and high winds require preparation and knowledge.

NOAA weather radios and apps are also available for purchase that will alert you of severe weather. However, before making a purchase, please research the item/app and make sure that it will meet your needs.

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TORNADO SAFETY TIPS

More tornadoes strike Texas than any other state. They can occur at any time of year, including winter, but are most frequent from mid-March through May. Tornados are also a common occurrence during hurricanes. Take the following precautions during tornadic activity:

  • Seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor of your home, such as a bathroom, closet or room without windows. Cover yourself with a mattress or cushions.
  • In an office building, go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor.
  • If you are in a mobile home, get out and take shelter in a nearby building. If no shelter is available, lie flat in a ditch or ravine.
  • Never stay inside a car! Get out and lie flat in a ditch or a ravine. If a building is nearby, take shelter inside. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car.
  • At school, follow plans and go to a designated shelter area, usually interior hallways on the lowest floor. Avoid auditoriums, gyms and areas with wide, free-span roofs.
  • In a shopping center, move towards the interior away from exterior glass walls.
  • If you are in open country, take cover in a low spot away from trees.
  • Remember there is a difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. A Tornado Watch means tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar, and you must seek shelter immediately!

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AND LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS

Texas ranks among the top states for lightning fatalities each year. Lightning can occur up to 10 miles away from a storm, and may be conducted through a number of surfaces including the ground. A direct strike is not necessary for severe injury or death to occur. Individuals in the general vicinity of a strike may experience minor to significant side effects from a strike, such as brain or cardiac damage. Always seek immediate shelter when storms approach. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!

Take the following precautions during thunderstorm and lightening activity:

  • When severe storms threaten, the safest place to be is indoors.
  • If you are outdoors, seek shelter in a home, large building or automobile. Do not take shelter in sheds, pavilions, tents, dugouts, or other small, open sided buildings.
  • Do not take shelter under isolated trees, cliffs, or rocky overhangs.
  • If you are in a vehicle roll up your windows.
  • Avoid high objects that may attract lightning. Stay away from tall isolated trees, telephone poles, or communications antennas.
  • Avoid being taller than your surroundings by standing on an open hilltop.
  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks and faucets. Do not take a shower or bath during a lightning storm.
  • Stay away from concrete floors and walls.
  • Do not use the telephone unless you have a true emergency.
  • If lightning begins while you are swimming or boating, get out of the water.
  • If outdoors, avoid contact with metal surfaces and do not carry anything made of metal. Stay away from metal fencing and pipes, as these objects are conductors of electricity. Also, avoid contact with metal farm equipment or small metal vehicles (such as golf carts).

FLASH FLOOD SAFETY TIPS

Flash flooding is the number one weather-related killer in Texas. Nearly 50 percent of all flash flood fatalities nationwide involve vehicles. Saving your life can be as easy as turning your car around when you see water on the road. Never attempt to drive through flooded roadways – Turn Around Don’t Drown (TADD).

Remember:

  • Even in relatively shallow water, tires can act as flotation devices, lifting up big vehicles and sending them downstream. It takes only two feet of water to float a 3,000-pound car.
  • Beware that water covering roadways may hide washed-out bridges or gouged-out roadbeds. If you attempt to drive across, you may not be driving on a road.
  • In rainy weather, be alert and stay tuned to local radio or TV.
  • If you are in a low-lying area when flooding is occurring, get to higher ground quickly. Be sure to avoid canyons and washes that can channel swift water.
  • Do not attempt to cross-flooded roads or streams on foot. It can take as little as six inches of water to knock an adult off his or her feet. Furthermore, water may be flowing more rapidly than it appears.
  • Never allow children to play near ditches and storm drains.
  • During stormy weather, do not camp or park vehicles along streams or washes.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood dangers.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED

Always be prepared for any severe weather or emergency that may arise. Preparing and maintaining an emergency supply kit is a simple and effective way to sustain you and your family following a disaster. Developing an emergency plan for you and your family is another way to protect yourself should a disaster occur.

More information about TADD can be found at: www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/tadd/

For more information on emergency supply kits visit:www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/Preparedness/emerSupplyKits.htm.

Additional information on emergency planning is available at:www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/Preparedness/emerPlanningTips.htm.

WFPD Participating in TxDOT Click It Or Ticket Campaign

Click-It-or-TicketThe Wichita Falls Police Department is participating in this years TxDOT Click It or Ticket Campaign which runs from May 20th through June 2nd. We will have additional Officers on the street focusing on Occupant Protection for all passengers in vehicles. WFPD has partnered with TxDOT’s Click It or Ticket since 2002.

Here Is the Law

Texas law now requires drivers and all passengers in vehicles to be secured by a safety belt.

Any child under the age of 8 must be restrained in an approved child passenger safety seat unless taller than 4 feet, nine inches.

Safety Seat Guidelines

Safety belts are designed for adults, not children. Use a booster seat to lift your child up and prevent severe injuries in a crash.

Please remember the following guidelines when buying the proper seat for your child:

Birth-1 Year, Up to 35 Pounds

  • Use a rear-facing seat until your baby reaches the weight limit or height limit of the seat.
  • Secure the chest clip even with your baby’s armpits.
  • Fasten harness straps snugly against your baby’s body.

1-4 Years, 20 to 40 Pounds

  • Use a forward-facing seat for as long as the safety seat manufacturer recommends it.
  • Fasten harness straps snugly against your child’s body.
  • Secure the chest clip even with your child’s armpits.
  • Latch the tether strap to the corresponding anchor if your vehicle has one.

4-8 Years, Over 40 Pounds

  • Use a booster seat.
  • Fasten the lap belt across your child’s thighs and hips, not stomach.
  • Strap the diagonal belt across the chest to rest on the shoulder, not the neck.

WFPD Arrest Suspect in Shooting

Taylor, khiry

Khiry Taylor

On Thursday May 16th at approximately 3:00 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 5300 block of Professional Drive at Tealwood Apartments in reference to a shots fired called.

Upon arrival officers located a 21 year old male that had been shot multiple times.  The suspect had fled the scene prior to officers arrival and was described by witnesses as a black male in his early twenties, 5 foot 6 inches, long hair on top and short on the side, wearing a red shirt and dark color shorts and carrying a blue bag.  The victim was transported to the hospital by AMR. WFPD Detectives arrived on scene and began their investigation.

At approximately 4:40 pm as WFPD Officers were continuing their investigation into the shooting they conducted a traffic stop on a red Nissan Altima in the 1900 block of Old Windthorst Road.  Upon approaching the vehicle, which was occupied by three individuals, officers detected the odor of marijuana emitting from inside the vehicle.  The occupants were removed and identified.  The backseat passenger was identified as 20 year old Khiry Taylor.  A search of the vehicle revealed over an ounce of marijuana which Taylor advised was his.  He was arrested for possession of marijuana and transported to the Wichita County Jail.

After further investigation into the shooting WFPD Detectives were able to develop sufficient probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant on Taylor for aggravated robbery.  The warrant was served on Taylor at the Wichita County jail.

WFPD To Host Another Active Shooter Class For Citizens

CRASE LOGO WFPD

UPDATE:  CLASS IS FULL!  WE WILL HOST ANOTHER ONE SOON!

The Wichita Falls Police Department will be hosting a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training on Wednesday May 29th at 6:00 pm at the Public Safety Training Center located at 710 Flood St. Class is limited to the first 50 registrants.

The CRASE course, designed and built on the Avoid, Deny, Defend (ADD) strategy developed by ALERRT in 2004, provides strategies, guidance, and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event.

Along with the CRASE training the WFPD will also cover current Texas State laws pertaining to gun ownership.

The class is free and open to anyone. If you are interested in attending please click here:
https://forms.gle/BRc53AHf7dLTFpZg9

We look forward to seeing you there.

2019 WFPD Police Memorial Ceremony

police_week_article_show_caroselPlease join the Wichita Falls Police Department on Monday, May 13th at 10 am, for a remembrance ceremony in honor of all the law enforcement officers across the country who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Monday marks the beginning of National Police Week. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.

The ceremony is open to the public and will be held on the front lawn of the WFPD Headquarters, 610 Holliday. The event is free of charge and refreshments will be provided following the ceremony.

 

WFPD Make Arrest in Capital Murder Case

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Byron Rickard

On May 1st at approximately 3:30 pm Detectives with the Wichita Falls Police Department served a Capital Murder warrant on 42 year old Byron Rickard for the murder of 91 year old Ruby Ditto. When the warrant was served Rickard was currently in custody at the Wichita County jail on an unrelated charge.

On April 28th at approximately 4:30 pm Officers with the WFPD responded to a possible robbery in the 200 block of North Beverly.  Upon arrival they observed in the backyard of a residence a female, who was identified as Ditto, being treated by members of the Wichita Falls Fire Department and American Medical Response for a head injury.  Ditto was transported to United Regional Health Care to be treated for the head injuries where she ultimately died from her injuries two days later.

Officers spoke with a witness who stated that early they had seen Ditto speaking with a subject in the backyard.  A few minutes later the witness observed Ditto’s pickup truck leaving the scene.  Shortly after that the witness went outside and observed Ditto on the ground at which time they called 911.

Ditto’s pickup truck was located later that day in the 2100 block of Garfield along with Rickard.  At that time Rickard showed to have a warrant for his arrest for an aggravated assault that had taken place in December of 2018.  Rickard was arrested at approximately 4:15 pm and transported to the Wichita County jail on that warrant.

WFPD Releases 2019 2nd Quarter TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats

636210405772280198-WFPD-STEPThe largest portion of traffic safety funding from TxDOT is used for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) projects, which pay for overtime activities by local law enforcement to reduce the incidence of speeding, driving while intoxicated, failure to use occupant restraint systems, and intersection traffic control violations. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS), sheriff’s offices, constable’s offices and community police departments.

The Wichita Falls Police Department has finalized the 2nd Quarter FY 2019 (January – March 2019) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 54
Child Safety Seats – 3
Intersection Violations – 71
Speeding – 442
Distracted Driving (Cell Phones) – 9 
Other Violations – 148
Arrests – 4
Vehicles Impounded – 10
Hours Worked – 311.5
Miles Driven – 2,442

Are you a distracted driver?

unnamed (3)April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Wichita Falls Police Department wants to remind you that distracted driving can be deadly.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 3,166 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017.
Texting while driving distracts a driver visually, manually, and cognitively. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55 miles per hour for the length of an entire football field.
Follow these steps for a safe driving experience:
-If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
-Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
-Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. Cellphone use can be habit-forming.
-Put your cellphone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat until you arrive at your destination.

Psychic & Clairvoyant Scam Alert

scam image

The Wichita Falls Police Department has recently received reports in which scammers are targeting members of our community trying to convince them that they can read palms, heal family members, remove curses, etc. It is most likely that the scammers are just passing through our area but we wanted to inform our community in order to help you from becoming a victim of the scam.

Most of the victims have reported to have been approached while at some of the larger retail business here in town. The scammers try to convince the victims that they can help with them whatever issues they might be facing.

For more information on Psychic & Clairvoyant scams click the link below.

https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/buying-or-selling/psychic-clairvoyant

Local Man Arrested on Multiple Felony Charges to Include Burglary and Motor Vehicle Theft

Downey, Ryan

Ryan Downey

On Monday April 8th at approximately 8:45 am officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 4800 block of Johnson Rd in reference to a possible burglary.  Upon arrival officers spoke with the victim who stated that 22 year old Ryan Downey forced entry into her apartment, assaulted her, stole a necklace, took her car keys and drove off with her 2013 black Chevrolet Impala.

WFPD Officers observed a 2013 black Chevrolet Impala driving in the area of McNiel and Call Field and attempted to initiate a traffic stop.  The driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as Downey, refused to pull over and began to speed away in an apparent attempt to evade police. Downey struck a curb in the 4300 block of Seymour Rd at which time he jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot.  He was caught by officers in the 4300 block of Seymour Hwy.

Downey was transported to the Wichita County jail without further incident where he was charged with burglary of a habitation, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading.