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!!!

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!

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.

Bus Stop Safety

6VW35IYZPVFQRMFA2GVVUJG3WYWith the ending of Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, November 4th, clocks will be set back an hour.  With this adjustment it will cause some students to have to wait for the school bus in the dark. Because of that the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind students, parents and drivers of a few bus stop safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Bus Stop Safety

The greatest risk to your child is not riding a bus, but approaching or leaving one. Before your child goes back to school or starts school for the first time, it’s important for you and your child to know traffic safety rules. Teach your child to follow these practices to make school bus transportation safer.

FOR PARENTS

Safety Starts at the Bus Stop

Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop and show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.

Get On and Off Safely

When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.

Use Caution Around the Bus

Your child should never walk behind a school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item, because the driver might not be able to see him/her.

FOR DRIVERS

Make school bus transportation safer for everyone by following these practices:

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
  • Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your State, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
    • Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

 

Halloween Safety Tips

halloween-safety-tips-header2It’s almost Halloween and that means kids will be out Trick-or-Treating.  Here are some safety tips to help make the night more enjoyable for everyone:

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Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

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Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

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Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

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Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

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Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

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Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

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Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

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Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

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Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

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Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

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Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

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Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

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Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

In Memory: WFPD Officer Hugh S. Fuller

police-silhouette-1Around 2:00 p.m. on October 22, 1927 Wichita Falls Police Motorcycle Officer Hugh S. Fuller was en route to a vehicle accident at Ninth and Broad streets. Just one block from the accident scene he struck the side of a motorist making a turn in the intersection of Ninth and Bluff streets. The motorist was en route to the hospital to see his seriously ill wife. He accompanied the injured officer to the hospital. Officer Fuller died one hour later at 3:00 p.m. at Wichita Falls Clinic Hospital. He was 20 years old.

Officer Fuller had been a night patrolman and had transferred to the motorcycle unit several weeks earlier. He had been a well known motorcycle racer since he was a teenager and had won many awards. Officer Fuller’s wrecked motorcycle was placed in the lobby of the police station for many years.

Officer Fuller was survived by his wife, Sallie, and his parents. They had a daughter born on August 5, 1927 who died two days later. He was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Wichita Falls.

May we never forget.

SCAM ALERT

Scam AlertRecently, some local residents have received a phone call from someone claiming to be a “detective” from our agency. The “detective” is phishing for information and the caller ID is showing 940-720-5000, which is our non-emergency number. However, we want you to know that no legitimate call will ever come from our agency showing that number. If you receive a similar call, please do not give the scammers any information and hang up the phone.

If you feel that you have already been a victim of this scam, please call our Financial Crimes Unit at 940-761-7762.

WFPD Releases 2018 4th Quarter and Year End 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 4th Quarter FY 2018 (July – September 2018) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 81
Child Safety Seats – 3
Intersection Violations – 231
Speeding – 426
Distracted Driving (Cell Phones) – 13 
Other Violations – 147
Arrests – 3
Vehicles Impounded – 8
Hours Worked – 350.5
Miles Driven – 2,721

The Wichita Falls Police Department has finalized the TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats for the fiscal year starting at October 2017 and going through September 2018

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 322
Child Safety Seats – 17
Intersection Violations – 769
Speeding – 1,809
Distracted Driving (Cell Phones) – 45 
Other Violations – 527
Arrests – 9
Vehicles Impounded – 34
Hours Worked – 1,386.1
Miles Driven – 10,948
The WFPD is currently participating in FY 2019 Comprehensive STEP Grant, which runs from October 1, 2018 through September 30th, 2019.