Officers of the Wichita Falls Police Department are adjusting to a new change in their schedules. They are now working 12 hour days, but have three days off a week. There's a reason why they changed things.
"We get a lot of police reports, and we take a lot of cases. We do the best we can, but what we're trying to do is avoid these reports by having officers in the streets to try and interrupt those criminals out there before they can commit the burglary or theft," said Wichita Falls Chief of Police Manuel Borrego.
Before the new schedule took effect in mid-July, officers were working ten hour shifts. Even though their typical workday is now longer, Chief Borrego has seen officers come back more refreshed and ready to work.
Officers are able to patrol high crime areas and answer phone calls more efficiently. Performance of each officer has also improved.
"We've seen a decline in our overtime uses, and we've seen a decline in our sick day usage," said Chief Borrego.
Wichita Falls residents said these changes make them feel safer. Some have even taken notice of the increased police presence.
"It's going to make me feel safe for sure knowing that a police officer is next door or close by. It can help a lot," said Wichita Falls resident Michael Anekwe.
"I've seen them in the area, my neighborhood, just patrolling," said Martha Newman, another Wichita Falls resident.
"It seems like they're everywhere actually. I got a ticket so that wasn't fun," said Wichita Falls resident Brad Beyer.
These changes might not be permanent. The agency will continue to do monthly evaluations to see if the new schedule is efficient in the long run.