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WFPD ends police shortage with 71st police academy

WICHITA FALLS - Trent Walker is a police recruit with the Wichita Falls Police Department. He said he never dreamed he would be an officer in training. "I loved the interaction you got to have with people, the difference you got to make in people's lives and so I changed my major from Petroleum Geology to Criminal Justice," he said. 

He told us it all started with a ride along. "I was riding down in McKinney with a state trooper and we had the opportunity, we didn't have to go help this person that had a flat tire on the side of the road but he told me, you know this is chance we have to make a difference with people, even if it's something small." 

It's being able to help others even in the smallest ways, that WFPD Sgt. Harold McClure hope inspires others to consider a career in law enforcement. "We do have a shortage. The city has allotted 202 officers and I believe we're short about twelve." 

But two weeks ago, WFPD started their 71st academy and Walker is part of the class of 12. Sgt. McClure said once they all graduate, these officers in training will help the department get back up to full staff.

"It's a very honorable profession, it's a great job," he said,  one that Walker now sees as the best fit for him.

"It really opened my eyes, I would encourage anybody to go on a ride along, just to see this side of the badge and be on this side of the police service and see the interactions we get to have with people," Walker told us. 

Sgt. McClure added, "It's nice to know that we still have individuals like Trent that's willing to step up and do the job that needs to be done. Regardless of the shortage or not, there is a job that has to be done and we're going to do our best to ensure that it's done in a professional way." 

Serving and protecting the city is a job Walker is looking forward to. 

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