Brief History of the WFPD
The Wichita Falls Police Department was established in 1890 with a chief and four officers. The first Chief of Police was Charles Bryan, who served from 1891-1906. There have been a total of 23 Police Chiefs from 1890-2015. The longest serving Chief was C.C “Bud “Daniel, who served 28 years from 1949-1977.
The Wichita Falls Police Department has grown as the population of the city has grown. In 1891 there were five officers serving a population of 1,987. In 1931 there were 47 officers serving a growing population of 43,690. In 2015 the Police Department is authorized to have 202 sworn officers, 103 civilian positions serving a population of approximately 107,000.
The first police station was located at 824 Ohio Street in downtown Wichita Falls. Just before World War II, the department moved to the former Post Office at 900 Ohio. It was in use until 1965 when a new headquarters was constructed at 610 Holliday Street. The new building housed the police department, communications division, city jail and municipal court. The Ohio Street Station was demolished and made into a park which was named C.C. “Bud” Daniel Park.
In 2005 a new 4.5 million dollar Public Safety Training Center was completed. Police Training, Traffic Investigation and Community Services Offices were moved to this location as well as the 911 Communications Center and all other dispatch services, formerly housed at 610 Holliday St. The old dispatch center was retained for a backup in case of a disaster situation.
In February 1957 the first formal Wichita Falls Police Academy began, the first class had 8 graduates. Over the years the academy size varied depending on manpower shortages. The largest class was the 54th which had 20 graduates in May 2001. The Academy has become recognized as one of the top training facilities in the state. The Training Staff not only trains Academy Recruits but they are also responsible for keeping the entire department updated and current on all training. Many agencies from the surrounding region come to our Academy for their training.
The WFPD has made, and continues to make, significant changes and improvements with equipment, facilities, technology, vehicles and training. From horseback to horsepower and from tube radios to digital radios the Wichita Falls Police Department has always been proactive in their efforts to protect the public.
125th Anniversary Badge
Officers with the WFPD have worn various styles of badges over the years. The badge that Officers currently wear has been in place for over four decades. Throughout 2015 Officers are authorized to wear a special 125th Anniversary badge. This badge was designed to commemorate the Department’s long and illustrious history. Inscribed on the back of the badge are the names of the WFPD Officers that have been killed in the line of duty. The new Anniversary Badges were purchased by the Officers that wear them.