8 tips to keep your pets safe this summer

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Many of you are likely enjoying these long summer days outside with your pets. Although this can be a fun time of the year for your furry friends, it’s also important to remember that higher temperatures mean higher risks for pets. To keep your pets safe, follow these precautions from experts at the ASPCA:
1. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors.
2. Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.
3. Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.
4. Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool- not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats.
5. Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
6. Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog. The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
7. When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
8. Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbecues can be poisonous to pets.

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 To Host Another Active Shooter Class For Citizens

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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.

 

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.

6 Tips to Help You and Your Neighbors Stay Safe this Spring

Garden with drums of paint and brush - 3D RenderingAs temperatures increase over the next several weeks, the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind you to take the follow precautions as you enjoy the spring season:

1. Always keep your home’s doors and windows locked when you go to bed or leave your house, even if you are leaving for a short period.

2. Secure all lawn and gardening equipment in your garage or a storage shed, and keep your garage doors closed at all times (even when you’re doing work around the house).

3. Put all ladders and other tools back into a secure storage area after you use them.

4. Be aware of home improvements scams. If you did not solicit the contractor or salesman who shows up at your door unannounced, do not do business with that person.

5. Always remember to close your car windows, take any valuables out of your car, and lock your doors every time you exit your vehicle, even if your vehicle is parked in your driveway.

6. Get to know your neighbors! Let a trusted neighbor know if you are planning to travel this spring. Neighbors who know each other look out for each other.

Never Forget: Officer Bob Fennell

003On March 20, 1938 Special Officer Bob Fennell of the Wichita Falls Police Department died after his throat was slashed by a subject that he had ejected from a local nightclub.

Earlier in the night Officer Fennell had confiscated three knives and two razors from women who were at a local nightclub. He had ejected one of the women and her escort from the club. A short time later the man returned, approached Officer Fennell from behind, and slashed his throat with a razor.

Officer Fennell drew his pistol as he fell, but was unable to fire at the subject who continued towards him. The nightclub’s owner picked up Officer Fennell’s gun and shot the subject three times, killing him.

Officer Fennell had been appointed a special officer by the Wichita Falls police chief several weeks earlier. He had previously served with the Burkburnett Police Department and Electra Police Department. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, mother, two brothers, and three sisters.

WFPD Hosts an Active Shooter Training

CRASE LOGO WFPDThe Wichita Falls Police Department will be hosting a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training on Wednesday March 13th at 6:00 pm at the Public Safety Training Center located at 710 Flood St.

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 and fill out the registration form.

We look forward to seeing you there.

WFPD Proudly Celebrating Black History Month

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WFPD Officers Jessie Mathis and Willard Boyd displaying trophies they earned from a regional shooting competition.

The men and women of the Wichita Falls Police Department proudly celebrates Black History Month.   We salute all the brave men and women that came before us for their actions that contributed to the advancement of our nation’s history.

We take this time to remember the service of two of Wichita Falls finest; Officers Jessie Mathis and Willard Boyd.

Officer Mathis was the first African-American Police Officer for the WFPD.  He graduated from the 4th WFPD Police Academy in April 1958.

Officer Willard Boyd graduated from the 5th WFPD Police Academy in October 1958.

Join us as we remember both of these Officers for their fine service and sacrifice to this community.

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!!!