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.

FY 2021 3rd 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 3rd Quarter (April – June) Comprehensive STEP.

Speed – 406

Intersections – 20

Distracted Driving (Cell Phone Use) – 2

Seat Belt Violation (Adult) – 29

Seat Belt Violation (Child) – 0

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

Non- Hazardous – 54

Written Warnings – 103

Arrests – 1

A total of 243 STEP hours were worked by officers and 2,364 miles were driven.

FY 2021 Comprehensive STEP totals to date:

Speed – 1167

Intersections – 49

Distracted Driving (Cell Phone Use) – 3

Seat Belt Violation (Adult) – 29

Seat Belt Violation (Child) – 0

Non- Hazardous – 158

Written Warnings – 318

Arrests – 1

Hours Worked – 708

Miles Driven – 6199

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

#EndtheStreakTX

Arrest Made – ATM Theft

On 07-20-2021, at approximately 5:00am, WFPD patrol officers observed a truck backed up to an ATM at First Capital Bank, 2405 Kell East. Officers began to converge on the area and the vehicle fled the scene stopping behind the Cinemark Theater on Judson Circle. Patrol chased after the suspects and one suspect was caught on the front side of the theater.

The suspect was identified as 23 year old Seth Solomon Ashton Brashears. Investigation revealed that the truck being used had been stolen prior to the Attempted Theft of the ATM.

Brashears was arrested and charged with multiple crimes: Theft of Property < $300,000 ATM, Evading Arrest & Detention, and Possession of a Controlled Substance >= 1G < 4G.

The case is still under investigation.

If anyone has any other information about this crime, please contact us or call Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers at 940-322-9888.

Multiple Search Warrants Lead to Arrest

The WFPD SWAT team executed a search warrant with the Crimes Against Property detectives on 06-10-2021 at about 3:00 pm at 505 Lee Street in search for 35-years-old Nolan Sylver Kerry. Kerry was wanted for thirteen felony arrest warrants out of Kaufman County, Texas. Kerry was arrested on the scene.

An additional search warrant was obtained to search for stolen property at 505 Lee. The WFPDdetectives located four stolen vehicles and additional items stolen during a train cargo burglary.

A third search warrant was obtained for the residence of Nolan Kerry at 814 N. Cottonwood street inWichita Falls. During the search of the residence, the detectives located more stolen property.

The Crimes Against Property detectives said more future criminal charges are expected to be filedagainst Kerry based upon the property located as a result of the search warrants.