Share the Road

sharetheroadThe Hotter’n Hell 100 is fast approaching which means the presence of more cyclists on the roadway.  The Wichita Falls Police Department reminds motorists to share the roadway and be aware.  Here are a few safety tips to remember:

  • Bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicle operators:(551.101)

Yes, this means you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, but cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.

  • Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103)

Near the curb is subjective (we recommend leaving a cushion of about three feet) but the law gives a cyclist the right to take the lane when necessary for safety.

  • At least one hand on the handlebars (two are safer): (551.102c)

One when signaling but two when turning works well.

  • Use hand and arm signals: (545.107)

Point the way you are going, let the other operators know what you want to do.

  • One rider per saddle: (551.102a)

Don’t let your friends share your bike while riding unless you’re both on a tandem.

  • You may ride two abreast as long as you don’t impede traffic: (551.103c)

Racing and taking the lane are special cases.

  • Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night): (551.104b)

The light is primarily so people can see you coming from the side, where their headlights do not shine on your reflectors. The law, effective as of Sept. 2001, states that a red light can replace a red reflector.

  • Brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid: (551.104a)

Don’t test that front brake to see if the wheel will skid while riding, especially downhill.

It’s That Time of Year Again

back_to_schoolChildren in Wichita Falls and surrounding communities will be returning to school in the next few days. We would like to  remind drivers to be extra cautious as school zones become more active and be aware of school buses that will be making frequent stops.

Following these simple tips can help children reach school safely and help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets.

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Put away your cell phone and anything else that may be distracting you as you drive.  A distracted driver is a dangerous driver.
  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.
  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.
  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Always obey crossing guards.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Coffee with a Cop at Odd Duck

cwc_secondary_black_rgbOn August 16th, 2017, officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event is from 8:30 am to 9:30 am on Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 at Odd Duck Coffee located at 717 7th St, in Wichita Falls.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for members of the community to ask questions and learn more about their department. The majority of interactions between law enforcement and the public occur during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building.

Some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop seeks to break down those barriers and allow for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.  We hope that citizens will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers.  These interactions are the foundation of any lasting community partnership.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.  The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

Back to School Safety Tips

back_to_schoolIn a few short weeks, school day congestion will be back. Whether students walk, bike, or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they – and the motorists around them – take proper safety precautions​. Please consider the following safety tips.
Walking to school:
-Plan a route to school or the bus stop. Select the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and with intersections that have crossing guards if possible.
-Instruct your student to keep their head up and phone down! Never walk while texting or talking on the phone.
-Be sure your child walks to and from school with a sibling, friend, or neighbor. Use Nextdoor to find other kids in the neighborhood who are walking the same route. Remember, there is safety in numbers.

 

Driving Safety Tips:
-Drivers have a lot to pay attention to, especially in school zones, and there is never an occasion that justifies using a phone while driving.
-The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children. Stop far enough back to give them space to safely enter and exit the school bus.
-Many children ride their bike to school. If you’re turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signal.

Ticket Scam Alert

scam-alertThe Wichita Falls Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit would like to remind people to be cautious when purchasing tickets to special events and recreational parks online.  The old adage, ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” is always a good reminder.

When purchasing tickets online from a third party and not an official vendor it is a case of “Buyer beware.”  The tickets may be fraudulent and you run the risk of the tickets not being accepted by the venue you are trying to enter.

If you do decide to purchase a ticket from a third party remember that a physical ticket is always better than a digital one.  Fraudulent digital tickets and codes can be easily reproduced.

Be careful in how you make any purchase from an unauthorized ticket seller.  Never give the seller access to your personal financial account information.  And, if you meet in person do so in a public place and bring a friend with you.

WFPD Releases 2017 3rd 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 3rd Quarter FY 2017 (April – June) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 107
Child Safety Seats – 2
Intersection Violations – 240
Speeding – 566
Other Violations – 196
Arrests – 9
Vehicles Impounded – 13
Hours Worked – 419.8
Miles Driven – 3,531

WFPD Continues to Encourage Citizens to Lock Their Vehicles

tlhThe Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind people that one of the best ways to help prevent from becoming a victim of vehicle burglary is to simply lock your vehicles.

Take, Lock, Hide. The basic crime fighting tool to help reduces vehicle burglaries.

  • Lock your vehicle. It takes seconds to break a window, but doing so makes noise – and criminals hate making noise.
  • Hide valuables from sight, or take items with you. If a criminal doesn’t see anything, they’re less likely to break in, and will move on.
  • Park in areas that are not secluded. Well lit parking lots, with good “sight lines”, make it more likely your vehicle is visible to the general public.
  • Aftermarket car stereos; consider models with removable face plates. Take the face plate with you when your leave your vehicle.
  • Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your vehicle. If stolen, it makes it more likely the suspect, if he tries to pawn, will be identified.

There is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent all crime. You can make yourself less likely to be a victim of a burglary. Simply locking your vehicle and removing property from inside is half the battle.

WANTED SUBJECT

fuentesUPDATE: On Thursday, July 6, at approximately 8:15 pm Richard Fuentes came to the WFPD and turned himself in on the Aggravated Robbery warrant. He was transported to the Wichita County jail without incident.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 17 year old Richard Alexander Fuentes. Fuentes is WANTED for an Aggravated Robbery that occurred on June 10, 2017, at Auto’s Grocery on Harrison Street. If you have any information about his whereabouts, please contact us immediately at 940-720-5000 or call Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers at 940-322-9888. Fuentes should be considered armed & dangerous.

Share the Road

sharetheroadThe Hotter’n Hell 100 is fast approaching which means the presence of more cyclists on the roadway.  The Wichita Falls Police Department reminds motorists to share the roadway and be aware.  Here are a few safety tips to remember:

  • Bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicle operators:(551.101)

Yes, this means you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, but cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.

  • Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103)

Near the curb is subjective (we recommend leaving a cushion of about three feet) but the law gives a cyclist the right to take the lane when necessary for safety.

  • At least one hand on the handlebars (two are safer): (551.102c)

One when signaling but two when turning works well.

  • Use hand and arm signals: (545.107)

Point the way you are going, let the other operators know what you want to do.

  • One rider per saddle: (551.102a)

Don’t let your friends share your bike while riding unless you’re both on a tandem.

  • You may ride two abreast as long as you don’t impede traffic: (551.103c)

Racing and taking the lane are special cases.

  • Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night): (551.104b)

The light is primarily so people can see you coming from the side, where their headlights do not shine on your reflectors. The law, effective as of Sept. 2001, states that a red light can replace a red reflector.

  • Brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid: (551.104a)

Don’t test that front brake to see if the wheel will skid while riding, especially downhill.

Wichita Falls Police Department Receives Recognition…AGAIN!

DSC_0014 (2)

At this morning’s City Council meeting, the Wichita Falls Police Department was presented with the “Texas Law Enforcement Best Practices Recognition Program” Certificate of Recognition by the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation. The Wichita Falls Police Department was originally certified 4 years ago making us 1 of only 59 Texas law enforcement agencies to ever achieve re-certification status.

To find out more about the program, click this link:http://www.texaspolicechiefs.org/recognition-program

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