WFPD Receives grant from TXDOT

Reported by: Jason Calder

Wednesday, Sep 24, 2008 @10:44pm CST

Wichita Falls police officers spend hours each day protecting our streets. Now the Texas Department of Transportation is picking up the tab to allow more officers to focus on major traffic violations. Jason Calder has more.

This $98,000 grant from TXDOT will put more cops out on the streets, amounting to 2,000 hours that the city doesn't have to pay for in an effort to make our streets safer.

The Wichita Falls Police Department is receiving extra funding to help crack down on traffic laws.

Sergeant Mike Yonts, "It's going to be intersection traffic control, speeding, seat belts and we also have additional officers out on D.W.I. searches."
Yonts said the $98,596 will be used to pay for overtime which will amount to 20 or more extra officers paying close attention to traffic violations.

Yonts said, "Now those are 2,000 hours that we would probably not normally had been doing because in our normal duties we're still doing those functions but when it's a grant, it takes away from anything that would be distract us from doing and working straight on those focuses."
This is the fourth year the police department has received the grant and Yonts said it's paying off.

He said, "Like four years ago, we were issuing more citations per hour. Our fourth year it's getting a little harder to find those violations. So I can tell you firsthand that the TXDOT grant with us and the officers that work so hard on it that it is working."
And there's no talking your way out of tickets during this campaign.

"These are enforcement campaigns so there's no warnings. We just enforce it," said Yonts.
The enforcement campaign will last an entire year.