Are You Prepared for Severe Weather?



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.



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.


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.


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.



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!


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 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).


  • 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 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:

For more information on emergency supply kits

Additional information on emergency planning is available

For more information about severe weather awareness and building community resiliency, you can visit NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation


WFPD Arrest Suspect in Aggravated Robbery of Local Restaurant


Gregory Reynolds

On Wednesday March 14th at approximately 4:30 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department responded to the 1600 block of 11th Street to the URHCS in reference to a Crime Stoppers tip that they received regarding a subject with an aggravated robbery warrant.

Upon arrival officers located 51 year old Gregory Reynolds.  A records checked confirmed that Reynolds had an outstanding warrant for aggravated robbery.  He was taken into custody and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident.

The warrant stemmed from an aggravated robbery that took place at the Subway restaurant, located in the 3700 block of Fairway, on February 1st of this year.

The reporting party stated that at approximately 3:00 pm a subject came into the store and demanded money.  The suspect fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Scam Alert: IRS Urges Taxpayers to Watch Out for Erroneous Refunds; Beware of Fake Calls to Return Money to a Collection Agency

downloadWith tax season upon on us also is the increase for various IRS scams.  One of the most recent involves erroneous refunds.

Criminals have a new twist on an old scam. After stealing client data from tax professionals and filing fraudulent tax returns, these criminals use the taxpayers’ real bank accounts for the deposit.

Thieves are then using various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers, and their versions of the scam may continue to evolve.

For more information regarding this scam and what to look out for so you do not fall victim you can visit or click here.

Vehicle Pursuit Ends with Suspect in Custody and Multiple Charges Filed.

king, steven 48

Steven King

On Tuesday, March 6th, at approximately 10:00 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a 2004 black Chevrolet Suburban at the intersection of Brook and Kell West.  The driver, later identified as 48 year old Steven King, refused to stop and began to accelerate in an attempt to evade police.

A short vehicle pursuit ensued down Speedway to Kell East.  King continued to flee east on Kell to Harding Street.  King eventually exited the vehicle near Holliday creek and began running on the trail that runs along the creek.  The vehicle continued to roll through a fence and came to a rest in Holliday creek.

Officers continued to pursue King and observed him through down a handgun, which was later recovered. Officers were able to catch up to King in the 900 block of MLK.  After a brief struggle officers were able to get King into custody.

King was transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with evading, resisting arrest, felon in possession of a firearm, tampering with evidence and duty upon striking a fixed object.

WFPD Provides Vacation Patrol Check

vacation-circled-on-calendar-jpgWith Spring Break getting closer and the increase in homes being left unattended due to families going on vacation the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind the public of a free vacation patrol check service that is available to them.

The WFPD offers Vacation Home Checks to all Wichita Falls residents.  While you are away on vacation, Sentinels from the Wichita Falls Police Department will periodically stop by your home to check for open doors, broken windows or any other suspicious circumstances.  In the event that something out of the ordinary is discovered, you or your listed emergency contact will be contacted immediately.  This is another added security precaution you can utilize to safeguard your possessions and assure your peace of mind while you are on vacation.  This is a free, but invaluable service provided by the Wichita Falls Police Department.  Please fill in the form below to request a vacation check.

Click here to request your Vacation Patrol Check

Homeowner realizes that the Police Department and the City do not assume any liability for loss or damage to property during specified dates. Homeowner understands there is no guarantee that vacation checks will be done daily, only when Sentinels are available.

Local Campus Crime Stoppers Program Wins Big at State Conference

IMG_2725Twenty three individuals representing the Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers Campus programs attended the 23rd Annual Texas Campus Crime Stoppers Conference held in Houston on February 26-28.

Campus Crime Stopper Programs from around the state attended the event which was led by the Crime Stoppers of Houston Safe School Program team and provided an interactive and fun learning environment for both students and adults who care about keeping their schools safe.

Middle and high students, as well as adults, from across Texas were invited to attend this three-day educational conference that addressed common school concerns. Participants had the opportunity to learn new skills in hopes that they can take back the knowledge and safety information learned and implement at their home campuses.

During the awards ceremony portion of the conference local Wichita Falls Campus Crime Stoppers programs won the following awards for “Crime of the Week”, “Best General Newsprint” and “Greatest Dollar Recovery & Most Cases Cleared with a Student Population 8,001 – 10,000”.


WFPD Offers Active Shooter Training

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Sgt. McClure presenting the CRASE course to faculty at Notre Dame School

In the past two decades, horrific mass shootings have been thrust into public consciousness. Mitigating the effects of these sudden incidents is the responsibility of those who serve in our communities’ public safety organizations. The public expects an effective and swift response to these threats and the sequence of events that follow them.

Research has shown however that many of the mass shootings, or active shooter events, are over before law enforcement responders arrive on the scene. Civilians who find themselves in an active shooter event must be prepared to take immediate action to save their own lives before law enforcement arrives. The average response time for police response to an active shooter event is three minutes. Without effective, preplanned response options for civilians at the scene of the attack, many victims can be seriously injured or killed during these three minutes.

The Wichita Falls Police Department is frequently asked to provide guidance to the community about what civilians should do if faced with an active shooter threat.

The WFPD is currently offering Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, “CRASE” training.  The training is designed for any civilian group including schools, businesses, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, and others.

If you are interested in having this training brought to your organization please contact Sgt. Harold McClure at (940) 720-5016 or you can e-mail him at

WFPD Serves Aggravated Robbery Warrant

McMinn, Justin

Justin McMinn

On Friday, February 16th, at approximately 2:45 pm in the 1600 block of 31st officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department served an aggravated robbery warrant on 30 year old Justin Mcminn.

The warrant stemmed from an aggravated robbery that was reported to the WFPD on January 28th of this year at the Quick Stop located in the 2100 block of Holiday.

The reporting party stated that at approximately 11:15 pm a subject came into the store and demanded money while waving brass knuckles.  The suspect fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Federal Detainer Placed on Watson for Multiple Bank Robberies to Include Local Bank

Wayne Watson TXDL

Wayne Watson

Earlier this week the Wichita Falls Police Department reported that 57 year old Wayne Alan Watson was in custody in the Tarrant County jail for aggravated robbery. A federal detainer has now been placed on him for multiple bank robberies across the state to include the Legend Bank here in Wichita Falls.

On January 17th the Legend Bank branch located at Kemp and Kell was robbed at gunpoint by a white male.  The suspect was quickly discovered to be a serial bank robber operating in the Central and North Texas area.  Multiple investigators from across the state, as well as federal agencies, were working on the case and sharing information.

Detectives from the WFPD Crimes Against Persons Unit identified the suspect during their follow up investigation of the Legend Bank robbery.  The suspect was identified as Wayne Alan Watson of Fort Worth.  Further investigation identified Watson as the subject who robbed the Carter’s Department Store, located on Lawrence Road on November 29, 2017.
On Tuesday, February 13th at approximately 5:45 am Detectives with the Wichita Falls Police Department, in cooperation with The FBI, Texas Rangers, Tarrant County Sherriff’s Office and the Texas DPS SWAT Team, executed a search warrant in the 400 block of Isbell Ct. in Ft Worth, Texas at which time Watson was initially taken into custody for the aggravated robbery at Carter’s.
It was during this search that investigators located evidence that linked Watson to multiple bank robberies across the state to include the Legend Bank.

WFPD Issues Warrants on Suspects in Recent Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

Detectives with the Wichita Falls Police Department have filed warrants on two suspects for recent robberies that have occurred in the City; 30 year old Justin McMinn and 51 year old Gregory Reynolds.

McMinn, Justin

Justin McMinn

McMinn is wanted for the aggravated robbery that took place at the Quick Stop on January 28th of this year.

The reporting party stated that at approximately 11:15 pm a subject came into the store located in the 2100 block of Holiday Rd and demanded money while waving brass knuckles.  The suspect fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

subway robberty suspect (1)

Gregory Reynolds

Reynolds is wanted for the robbery that took place at the Subway restaurant on February 1st of this year.

The reporting party stated that at approximately 3:00 pm a subject came into the store located in the 3700 block of Fairway and demanded money.  The suspect fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of either of these subjects you are encouraged to call police at (940) 720-5000 or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at (940) 322-9888.