FY 2022 1st Quarter Comprehensive STEP Stat Totals

The largest portion of traffic safety funding from TxDOT is used for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) projects, which pay for overtime activities by local law enforcement to reduce the incidence of speeding, driving while intoxicated, failure to use occupant restraint systems, distracted driving (cell phones), and intersection traffic control violations. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety, Sheriff’s Offices, Constable’s Offices, and local Police Departments.

The following hazardous citations were written during the 1st Quarter (October – December) Comprehensive STEP:

  • Speed – 270
  • Intersections – 73
  • Distracted Driving (Cell Phone Use) – 4
  • Seat Belt Violation (Adult) – 14
  • Seat Belt Violation (Child) – 0

In addition to the hazardous citations, the following citations, warnings or arrests were issued or made:

  • Non- Hazardous – 46
  • Written Warnings – 81
  • Arrests – 1

A total of 190.31 STEP hours were worked by officers and 1765 miles were driven.Remember to buckle up and slow down. Your life and the lives of others depend on it! #EndtheStreakTX

Congratulations – SGT Eligibility Roster!

We would like to congratulate the following officers for their successful completion of the promotional eligibility process for the rank of Sergeant: Paul Hardi, Brett Keith, Joseph Felts, Marisa Cervantes, John Cook, John Chesar, Bradley Higgins, and Floyd McPherson.

Per Civil Service rules, each of these officers will remain on the Sergeant eligibility roster for one year.

Again, Congratulations and GOOD LUCK!!!!

FY 2021 4th Quarter Comprehensive STEP Stat Totals

The largest portion of traffic safety funding from TxDOT is used for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) projects, which pay for overtime activities by local law enforcement to reduce the incidence of speeding, driving while intoxicated, failure to use occupant restraint systems, distracted driving (cell phones), and intersection traffic control violations. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety, Sheriff’s Offices, Constable’s Offices, and local Police Departments.

The following hazardous citations were written during the 4th Quarter (July – September) Comprehensive STEP.

Speed – 453

Intersections – 12

Distracted Driving (Cell Phone Use) – 5

Seat Belt Violation (Adult) – 55

Seat Belt Violation (Child) – 1

In addition to the hazardous citations, the following citations, warnings or arrests were issued or made.

Non- Hazardous – 66

Written Warnings – 128

Arrests – 0

A total of 278.5 STEP hours were worked by officers and 2,615 miles were driven.

FY 2021 Comprehensive STEP totals (October 2020 – September 2021):

Speed – 1620

Intersections – 61

Distracted Driving (Cell Phone Use) – 8

Seat Belt Violation (Adult) – 122

Seat Belt Violation (Child) – 1

Non- Hazardous – 224

Written Warnings – 446

Arrests – 1

Hours Worked – 986.5

Miles Driven – 8814

Remember to buckle up and slow down.  Your life and the lives of others depend on it!

#EndtheStreakTX

Deputy Chief Richard “R.W.” Smith Passes Away

It is with a very heavy heart that we report the passing of Deputy Chief Richard “R.W.” Smith following his long battle with cancer.

Deputy Chief Smith began his career with the WFPD in 1983 and graduated from our 41st Police Academy.

He had served our community for over 38 years.

Please keep his friends and family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Services are pending.

Deputy Chief Smith, rest easy brother. We have the watch from here!

Officer Involved Shooting News Release

The WFPD received a call this morning at about 7:40 am in regard to a domestic assault at 2507 8th street. The victim reported that her 17-year-old son had assaulted her and pointed a handgun at her.

The mother was able to leave the house and meet the responding officers at a near-by location.

Other officers set a perimeter around the house and attempted to call the suspect, Gabriel Varela, out of the house. However, Varela refused to exit the house.

WFPD detectives obtained a search warrant in order to arrest Varela for Aggravated Assault/Family Violence.

The WFPD SWAT team responded to the scene due to the high-risk nature of the situation.

Varela continued to ignore the requests by WFPD Negotiators to exit the house.

At about 1:15 pm, Varela exited to the rear of the house and fired shots at officers on the SWAT team.

Return fire from the SWAT team struck Varela. Sadly, Varela was declared deceased on the scene.

No officers were injured. The investigation of this incident is on-going.

Please keep the family of Gabriel Varela and the involved officers in your prayers.

Bomb Threat Investigation – All Clear

UPDATE: The building has been cleared and no bombs were found. However, the case will remain under investigation. Terroristic Threats are a violation of the law and will be taken seriously. If any one has any information about this threat, or know who may have called it in, please call Crime Stoppers at 940-322-9888.

Wichita Falls Police and Fire Units, along with resources from Sheppard Air Force Base, are on scene at Old High, 2149 Avenue H, due to a reported bomb threat.

At this time, all students and faculty have been evacuated. Most students have left for the day or have been picked up from school.

As a precaution, all participating agencies will remain on the scene until the investigation is complete and the building has been cleared.

Although no bomb has been located at this time, we do ask the public to avoid the area until further notice.

We will update you with more information as soon as we have it.