WFPD Releases 2019 1st 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 1st Quarter FY 2019 (October – December 2018) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 68
Child Safety Seats – 6
Intersection Violations – 83
Speeding – 438
Distracted Driving (Cell Phones) – 19 
Other Violations – 152
Arrests – 6
Vehicles Impounded – 14
Hours Worked – 307.5
Miles Driven – 2,513

Join Us On Nextdoor.com

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So far, over 9,000 Wichita Falls residents have joined the Wichita Falls Police Department on Nextdoor.com to get to know their neighbors and to take a stand against crime.  Are you one of them?  If not, please visit http://www.nextdoor.com and sign up. It’s free and simple.  Iphone and Android apps are also available.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Here is what Nextdoor.com is all about:

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.

Thousands of neighborhoods nationwide are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Quickly get the word out about a break-in.
  • Organize a neighborhood watch group.
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter.
  • Find out who does the best paint job in town.
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog.
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike.
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name.

Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

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Forward to Police Feature

As Wichita Falls residents continue to use technology to communicate and
collaborate with each other, we are always looking for ways to innovate and make our relationship even stronger and Nextdoor helps facilitate that.  As a proactive and innovative agency, we are constantly finding ways to help make Wichita Falls’ neighborhoods even stronger and safer places to call home for our
residents.
A few months ago, we were excited to announce that we launched “Forward to Police”, a new feature on Nextdoor that allowed residents to send crime and safety information directly to the police department with a click of a button.  This new feature is allowing our department to better communicate with residents about topics of concern in their neighborhood on Nextdoor:
  • Forward to Police is an excellent way to help our department continue to stay informed
  • about the things that matter most to Wichita Falls neighborhoods and work more closely with our residents.
  • With Forward to Police, Wichita Falls residents are able to forward their Crime & Safety posts and Urgent Alerts on Nextdoor directly to the Wichita Falls Police Department.
  • It’s important to note that the Wichita Falls Police Department cannot access residents’ websites, contact information, or content, unless it is a Crime and Safety post or Urgent Alert that is forwarded to them via Forward to Police.
  • The Forward to Police feature is not an emergency reporting system. Residents are encouraged to call 911 in the case of an emergency.
Nextdoor has already been a successful communications tool for the Wichita Falls Police
Department. We look forward to our residents using Forward to Police as yet another tool
to connect with us and work together to make Wichita Falls an even better place to call home.
We partnered with Nextdoor in 2015 to help improve city-wide and
neighbor-to-neighbor communications. This is yet another way to use Nextdoor to
garner valuable feedback from our residents. We have always invested in crime prevention efforts and we are excited that Nextdoor will enable more residents across Wichita Falls to easily participate in a modern,virtual neighborhood watch. Forward to Police will help us identify residents’ concerns around crime and safety across Wichita Falls and work with residents to address them.
Join Nextdoor Today!!!

Have a Safe & Happy New Year

Fireworks explosion. Happy new year 2019 event banner. Pyrotechnics sparks. Festive firework celebration vector backgroundAs we get closer to celebrating New Year, the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of the City Ordinance prohibiting the use or possession of fireworks.

The possession of all fireworks is illegal in the city limits of Wichita Falls. If you are found to be in possession of or discharging fireworks you can be subject to a fine. It is important that the public recognize the potential dangers in the use and handling of fireworks.

Please celebrate the New Year safely and responsibly!  Here are some other safety tips for the holiday:

  • The consequences of drunk driving are devastating. If you do drink, please have a designated driver and make those plans ahead of time.
  • Try to avoid being on the road between the hours of 8pm – 2am. Auto accidents due to alcohol consumption are the highest during that time.
  • Take the keys if you have a friend who is too drunk to get behind the wheel. Help your friend with a ride home.
  • If you are hosting a party make sure your guests have a designated driver or a way to take them home from your party.

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Planning to travel this holiday season? Check out our 4 travel safety tips!

christmas car travel- happy kids travel in winter natureAAA estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will be traveling this holiday season. If you’re one of those people who will be hitting the road, we encourage you to take a few minutes to review these safety tips:

1. Make sure your home is secure. If you have an alarm system, check the batteries, and don’t forget to enable the alarm before you leave. Consider having a friend or neighbor check in on your home while you’re away. You can always set your home up for a vacation patrol check by going here: https://wfpdnow.com/vacationcheck/

2. If you’re planning to travel by car, get your car inspected and/or serviced before your trip. Prepare an emergency kit which should include jumper cables, flares or a reflective triangle, an ice scraper, a blanket, a cell phone charger, and a map. Plan your drive ahead of time and know alternative routes.

3. If you’ll be traveling by plane, review TSA’s travel tips: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips. Share your itinerary with friends and family, and don’t forget to pack a small emergency kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, and a USB power bank.

4. If you’ll be traveling with a pet, be sure to add a few items to your emergency kit such as water and pet food. You may also want to consider including a toy or blanket to help alleviate stress.

WFPD Search Warrants leads to the Seizure of Guns and Drugs

On Wednesday, December 5th, at approximately 4:00 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department executed a narcotics search warrant in the 5300 block of Professional Dr.

During the course of the search officers located 15 ounces of marijuana, 181 grams of ecstasy, 60 grams of THC, 68 grams of Xanax, 2 pistols, a shotgun and ammunition.

21 year old Justin Harmon was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident were he was charged with two counts of manufacture/delivery of a substance in penalty group two, manufacture/delivery of a substance in penalty group three and possession of marijuana.

WFPD Traffic Stop Leads to the Seizure of Firearms and 46 Pounds of Marijuana

IMG_13781On Monday, December 3rd, at approximately 10:45 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department observed a white 2010 Chevrolet Camaro driving at a high rate of speed in the 1000 block of Central Freeway. Officers stopped the vehicle and identified the driver and sole occupant as 36 year old Joshua Copa.

Officers saw in plain sight a handgun inside the vehicle near the front passenger seat and center console.  Officers were also able to detect the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and located a total of three firearms, 23 grams of THC oil and 46 pounds of marijuana.

Copa was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance in penalty group two and possession of marijuana over five pounds.

Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

Vehicle exhaust pipe in winterAs the morning temperatures continue to get colder the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind drivers not to leave their cars running and unattended.  In most cases not only is this against the law but it will also increase your chances of becoming a victim of theft or burglary.

There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of losing your vehicle or belongings to an opportunistic thief:

  • STAY WITH THE CAR. It’s better to be cold for a few minutes in your car while it warms up than to be left in the cold while the thief drives it away.
  • LOCK THE DOORS. If unattended locking your doors will decrease the opportunity for the criminal to strike.
  • TAKE YOUR KEYS.  Don’t hide your keys on or in the vehicle; thieves know where to look.
  • HIDE YOUR BELONGINGS.  If leaving property in the vehicle hiding it will help reduce the risk of a burglary or vehicle theft.

For more information on the law click here.

In Memory: WFPD Officer Russell C. Scott

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WFPD Officer Russell C. Scott

On November 27, 1958 Wichita Falls Police Officer Russell C. Scott was struck and killed by a vehicle while directing traffic at the scene of accident at the intersection of Hampstead Street and Milby Street. Another car entered the intersection and struck a disabled truck at a high rate of speed. The truck was pushed into Officer Scott, knocking him 54-feet.

Officer Scott was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the following day. The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $25.

Officer Scott had been with the agency for only 11 months. He was survived by his wife.

May we never forget.

Holiday Safety Tips

thanksgiving (1)With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of a few safety tips to help make this time more enjoyable.

If you are traveling:

  • Please give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
  • Do not drive tired.  If you become drowsy, find a safe place to stop and take a break.
  • Always, wear your safety belt.
  • Be prepared to slow down.  The road conditions can quickly change due to weather or traffic congestion.

If you are shopping:

  • Always, be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Lock your car; Take your keys; Hide your belongings.
  • If you are shopping at night, try to park in well-lighted areas.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Keep a record of all your credit card numbers and contact your credit card company immediately if one is stolen.

At home:

  • If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time have a neighbor collect your mail.
  • Have various inside lights on multiple timers.
  • Ensure that all your doors and windows are locked and secured.
  • If someone knocks at your door that you do not know you Do Not have to answer it.

These are just a few simple crime prevention techniques that can help ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

10 tips for using ATMs safely

Man using his credit card in an atm for cash withdrawalHere are our top 10 ATM safety tips. Please take a moment to read and share with neighbors, friends, and family.

  1. Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings. Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building — corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers.
  2. Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM, make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive or walk immediately to a police or fire station, or to a crowded, well-lighted location or business. If you feel you are in danger, call 911!
  3. Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
  4. Do not allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your PIN. Memorize your PIN; never write it on the back of your card. Do not re-enter your PIN if the ATM eats your card — contact a bank official.
  5. Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to the assailant.
  6. Never count cash at the machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car or another secure place.
  7. When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line.
  8. Maintain a supply of deposit envelopes at home or in your car. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.
  9. Closely monitor your bank statements, as well as your balances, and immediately report any problems to your bank.
  10. If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, COMPLY.