WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Fourth of July is a time to sit back and have some fun celebrating our nation’s independence, but for the Wichita Falls Police Department, it means being on higher alert than usual.

“We’re getting calls for either gunshots or fireworks, sometimes we don’t know the difference, and the callers don’t know the difference, so we have to take away from what we’re trying to do to go investigate those,” WFPD Sergeant Charlie Eipper said.

Sergeant Eipper said while the Fourth of July holiday weekend is always a busy one for them, with the increase in violence this summer, they’ve decided to amp up patrol going into the weekend.

“When it comes to the Fourth itself, yes, we have a plan, we have an operation going on being led by one of our lieutenants in control,” Eipper said. “We have officers from different units that are coming in to help with that operation, and it’s just to bring some more security.”

Eipper said it’ll be a community effort to ensure the city has a safe weekend, and he wants residents to remember that shooting off fireworks in the city is both illegal and dangerous.

After the amount of fatality crashes the city has seen recently, Eipper wants to remind the public to be safe on the roads and not drink and drive.

“We want people to enjoy and celebrate this very important holiday, but we just want everybody to be safe,” Eipper said. “That’s why we’re going to take extra time to be a presence there, so we can provide direction and order so everyone can stay safe and enjoy it.”

This upcoming holiday is forecasted to be a hot one, so Eipper wants you to remember to stay hydrated too.

“Just drink a lot of water, and be careful,” Eipper said. “Nobody gets into accidents because they had too much water to drink, so you can always remember that, and it keeps you safe from the heat injuries.”

We at KFDX and KJTL wish you all a spectacular and safe Fourth of July!

Eipper also encourages you to take advantage of some of the Fourth of July events happening around town if you do want to see some fireworks.