Re-packaging Identity Theft scam

Scam AlertThe Wichita Falls Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit would like to inform people of the dangers of a re-packaging Identity Theft scam.

An individual(s) will compromise the victim’s identity and begin to purchase items in their name.  Often times they will have the items that were fraudulently purchased shipped to the victim’s address.  The suspects will then track the packages and when they are delivered/left at the victim’s home the suspect(s) will then simply go up and take the packages.  Often times the victim will never know their identity has been compromised until it is too late.

If you believe that you are the victim of identity theft or have any information regarding possible suspects involved in identity theft you are encouraged to contact the WFPD at 720-5000.

You can get a free credit report by going to FTC.gov – https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports?utm_source=takeaction

You can also file an identity theft report at https://www.identitytheft.gov/?utm_source=takeaction

This is a serious situation which occurs on a daily basis all over the United States. Take it seriously and check your information.

Share the Road: Hotter’n Hell Hundred

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The Hotter’n Hell 100 is upon us 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:

 

1. Different but Equal

In all states, cyclists are deemed by law to be drivers of vehicles and are entitled to the same rights on the road as motorists. Expect cyclists on the road. Watch for cyclists on the road. Treat them as you would any slow-moving vehicle.

2. Patience, not Patients

Patience, especially on the road, is a virtue, and can save lives.

Your patience may involve:

  • Waiting until it is safe to pass a bicycle and refraining from tailgating.
  • Giving cyclists the right of way when the situation calls for it.
  • Allowing extra time for cyclists to go through intersections.
  • Recognizing road hazards that may be dangerous for cyclists and giving cyclists the necessary space to deal with them. In conditions where there is not enough room for a cyclist to ride to the right, they are allowed to ride closer to the lane of traffic, and sometimes even in the lane of traffic.

Never engage in conduct that harasses or endangers a cyclist. Above all: Be tolerant. Be understanding. Be careful.

3. A Passing Grade

Do not pass a cyclist until you can see that you can safely do so. You should allow ample space between your vehicle and the bicycle and make sure you do not place the cyclist in danger. If you pass too closely the drag from your car can pull a cyclist off course and cause the rider to swerve out of control.

4. The Right Behavior

Watch out for cyclists when you are turning right. A bicyclist may well be to the right of you and planning to go straight at the same intersection. Do not speed ahead of the bicyclist thinking you can negotiate the turn before they reach your car. The cyclist may be going faster than you think and, as you slow to make the turn, the cyclist may not be able to avoid crashing into the passenger side of your vehicle.

5. To The Left, to The Left

Also look for cyclists when making a left-hand turn. Cyclists who are crossing straight through the same intersection in the opposite direction may be going faster than you realize. It is particularly dangerous on a descending slope, when cyclists pick up more speed.

6. A Back-up Plan:

Bicycles, and the people who drive them, come in all shapes and sizes. When backing out of your driveway always look to see if someone is riding in your path. Children on small bikes might be hard to see. Drive slowly and look carefully.

7. Egress Etiquette

After parallel parking, make sure the coast is clear for opening the car door to exit. Make sure there are no cyclists riding alongside your car or fast approaching. By using the rear view mirrors and by turning around, a driver can spot an approaching cyclist and circumvent a disaster. A cyclist cannot anticipate when a driver will open a door, but a driver can easily detect a cyclist who may be in the line of danger.

8. Respect

Cyclists have a rightful spot on the road. Cyclists also positively impact the environment with each revolution of their wheels by opting to ride rather than drive. Do not resent cyclists. Replace frustration with a smile every time to see a cyclist.

9. Honing Your Horning Habit

Do not to honk unnecessarily at cyclists. If the need does arise to honk your horn to alert a cyclist that you are about pass, do so at a respectable distance. If you are too close, the noise itself can cause a cyclist to lose his or her bearings and create a hazardous situation for both you and the cyclist.

10. Try it, You’ll Like it

If you can’t beat them, join them. Ride a bike. It may just change your life. Riding is good for you and good for your environment. At the very least, it will give you a better appreciation for the problems cyclists face everyday on the road with respect to motorists.

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.

WFPD Releases 2018 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 2018 (April-June 2018) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 80
Child Safety Seats – 7
Intersection Violations – 204
Speeding – 506
Distracted Driving (Cell Phones) – 11 
Other Violations – 130
Arrests – 2
Vehicles Impounded – 7
Hours Worked – 374.2
Miles Driven – 2,773

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.

Click It or Ticket Results

CLICK-IT-TEXASThe below statistics are from the WFPD’s participation in the annual TxDOT Click It or Ticket campaign which ran May 21st – June 3rd:
  • Adult Seatbelt Citations – 265
  • Child Safety Seats – 11
  • Intersection Violations – 12
  • Speeding – 7
  • Other Violations – 91
  • Arrests – 5
  • Vehicles Impounded – 7
  • Hours Worked – 220
  • Miles Driven – 1,509
Buckling up is your best bet to prevent serious injury or death in a crash. Crashes where the victims aren’t wearing safety belts can be deadly. People who aren’t buckled up are often thrown out of their car or truck, and sometimes the vehicle rolls over them.  For more information, please visit:  http://www.texasclickitorticket.com/

WFPD Participating in TxDOT Click It Or Ticket Campaign

Click-It-or-TicketThe Wichita Falls Police Department is participating in this years TxDOT Click It or Ticket Campaign which runs from May 21st through June 3rd. We will have additional Officers on the street focusing on Occupant Protection for all passengers in vehicles. WFPD has partnered with TxDOT’s Click It or Ticket since 2002. Last year WFPD alone issued 287 seatbelt citations and 10 child safety seat citations during the campaign.

Here Is the Law

Texas law now requires drivers and all passengers in vehicles to be secured by a safety belt.

Any child under the age of 8 must be restrained in an approved child passenger safety seat unless taller than 4 feet, nine inches.

Safety Seat Guidelines

Safety belts are designed for adults, not children. Use a booster seat to lift your child up and prevent severe injuries in a crash.

Please remember the following guidelines when buying the proper seat for your child:

Birth-1 Year, Up to 35 Pounds

  • Use a rear-facing seat until your baby reaches the weight limit or height limit of the seat.
  • Secure the chest clip even with your baby’s armpits.
  • Fasten harness straps snugly against your baby’s body.

1-4 Years, 20 to 40 Pounds

  • Use a forward-facing seat for as long as the safety seat manufacturer recommends it.
  • Fasten harness straps snugly against your child’s body.
  • Secure the chest clip even with your child’s armpits.
  • Latch the tether strap to the corresponding anchor if your vehicle has one.

4-8 Years, Over 40 Pounds

  • Use a booster seat.
  • Fasten the lap belt across your child’s thighs and hips, not stomach.
  • Strap the diagonal belt across the chest to rest on the shoulder, not the neck.

Share the Road

sharetheroadThe Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind all drivers and pedestrians to share the road.

The following are a few “rules of the road” based on Texas Transportation Code statutes.

  • 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.

  • A pedestrian may not walk along and on a roadway if an adjacent sidewalk is provided and is accessible to the pedestrian: (552.006)

If a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian walking along and on a highway shall if possible walk on the left side of the roadway; or the shoulder of the highway facing oncoming traffic.

WFPD Releases 2018 2nd 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 2nd Quarter FY 2018 (January-March 2018) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 91
Child Safety Seats – 4
Intersection Violations – 208
Speeding – 432
Distracted Driving (Cell Phones) – 9 
Other Violations – 127
Arrests – 2
Vehicles Impounded – 9
Hours Worked – 343.8
Miles Driven – 2,573.2

WFPD Releases 2018 1st Quarter TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats

636210405772280198-WFPD-STEP

The 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 2018 (October-December 2017) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 70
Child Safety Seats – 3
Intersection Violations – 126
Speeding – 445
Other Violations – 123
Arrests – 2
Vehicles Impounded – 10
Hours Worked – 317.1
Miles Driven – 2,856.5