Wichita Falls PD looking to make changes after multiple stolen patrol cars

Wichita Falls Police Car Stolen
Wichita Falls Police Car Stolen

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - In nine months two Wichita Falls police patrol cars have been stolen.

They led to, what Chief Manuel Borrego called, very dangerous situations for his officers and the public.

Now protocol for those cars could be changing in the future.

It's something Chief Borrego said is for the safety of everyone.

"We've got a duty to make sure we protect our citizens and not create a problem," Chief Borrego said. "So we're taking some precautions to ensure that doesn't happen again."

In December a Wichita Falls police car was stolen from an officer out on a call.

He was run over by the suspect, leading to a chase that ended on one of the runways at Sheppard Air Force Base while student pilots were training.

Last Wednesday an escapee from the North Texas State Hospital jacked a police SUV, before wrecking out on highway 79.

The incident left the suspect with a gunshot wound.

Chief Borrego said it's a disturbing trend.

"The fear is certainly that whoever is taking this is probably not in the right mind and has become a danger," he said. "They are certainly going to be a danger to our motoring public and our pedestrian public as they're attempting to get away."

Chief Borrego said another fear is someone getting a hold of some of the equipment in the car.

He see's it happening more nationwide, but does not believe that make's it okay.

"We're certainly going to look at our training and put some more precautions in our vehicles to ensure this doesn't occur because I've been doing this job for 36 years," Chief Borrego said. "I don't remember this happening in the past."

In the meantime, Chief Borrego wants his officers to continue to follow their protocol, and for the public to continue to trust them.

"We certainly try to ensure that our citizens have faith in our police department and that we are out there doing the right things," Chief Borrego said. "We feel like we are doing that for our citizens."

Chief Borrego said that he is really proud of the way his officers responded in both of those high-stress situations, and said it's because of how well trained they are.

Chief Borrego said they want their officers to turn their vehicles off when they can, but that's not always an option.

He said some calls require his officers to get out of their vehicles quickly and make split-second decisions.

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