History of the Wichita Falls Police Department

The History of the Department


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 22 Police Chiefs from 1890-2006. The longest serving Chief was C.C “Bud “Daniel, who served 28 years from 1949-1977. There were Police Chiefs who only served a few weeks and others who served twenty years. In 1921 the department had four different Police Chiefs.

Chief "Bud" Daniel was recognized as quite an innovator. He was responsible for beginning the Recruit Training Academy, which is still being used today,the WFPD also became a Civil Service Police Deparment under his watch. Chief Daniel was responsible for placing the first women in the role of police officers. Chief Curtis Harrelson was the first to hire women for the position of Police Officer and train them in the Wichita Falls Police Academy as equally trained and fully functioning Patrol Officers. See all Wichita Falls Police Chiefs

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Charles Bryan,
First Police Chief of Wichita Falls
Serving From 1891-1906

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Wichita Falls Police Department 1931




A Growing Department


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. As of today, the Police Department is authorized to have 203 sworn officers, 103 civilian positions serving a population of approximately 107,000.


Headquarters


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 1981 Municipal Court was moved to its present location at 611 Bluff. In 1986 the building received a long overdue renovation. The city jail, located on the bottom floor of the building, was closed and moved to the Wichita County Courthouse.

The Wichita County Sheriff’s Department took over jail operations in exchange for the city providing dispatch services for the county.
The remaining space was converted to classrooms and offices. The asbestos ceiling was removed and a new Computer Aided Dispatch System was added.

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WFPD Headquarters
1000 Ohio St. 1962

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Current Headquarters
610 Holliday St.

Public Safety Training Center


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.

Public Safety Training Center
Public Safety Training Center 710 Flood St.

The WFPD has the distinction of being one of the few departments in the state that still has their own training facility and conducts their own academy. The Wichita Falls Police Academy is fully accredited by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education and is recognized for its outstanding training facilities and training staff.

The Training section provides regional training for smaller departments as well as training the
Wichita Falls Police Officers and conducting the Academy.
Dispatch 1998
911 Communications Center 1998
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911 Communications Center 2007

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First Wichita Falls Police Academy
Graduating Class February 2, 1957


Wichita Falls Police Academy


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 smallest class was the 15th which had 4 graduates in September 1962. 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.


Equipping Our Officers


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.

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Current Badge
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Early Badges

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Early Badges

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1968

2012
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1950s

2014

Contact Information


If you have additional information or photos you would like to have added to the WFPD history pages please contact:harold.mcclure@wfpd.net or call (940) 720-5016.