WFPD welcomes six new officers to the force

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Six new officers are ready to start their careers at the Wichita Falls Police Department after weeks of training and classwork at the Academy.

Among the half-dozen taking the oath, Chris Barton is entering a career he dreamed of since childhood.

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"I remember wanting to be a police officer ever since elementary school. There'd be a cop, a motorcycle cop right outside our school zone that would sit there and look for speeders, protecting us," Barton said. "But he would also take the time to use a speed gun on us and interact with us in a positive way while still also doing his job."

This graduation brings important relief to a police department that has been struggling with staffing in recent years. Chief Manuel Borrego says the new additions will be helpful but not quite enough to fill most vacancies.

"This will help. And we have another academy that's in week nine and look for them to graduate. And we got a 79th police academy hiring process going on," Borrego said. "So, we're constantly hiring because of the challenge that we have in filling our ranks."

Regardless of the staffing challenges, Barton and the rest of his graduating class are ready to get their new careers off to a fast start. Their next step? Beginning field training and learning how to protect this city best.

"I'm ready to get out there and hit the ground running, meet with all the other veteran officers and learn from them," Barton said. "They have a wealth of knowledge, so I'm looking forward to adding that to my tool belt. Interacting with the community in positive ways; that's exciting."

Despite growing odds, W.F.P.D. continues to stand guard.

To apply to the WFPD and view its hiring process, visit its website.

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