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, and intersection traffic control violations. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS), sheriff’s offices, constable’s offices and community police departments.
The Wichita Falls Police Department has finalized the 3rd Quarter FY 2018 (April-June 2018) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:
Adult Seatbelt Citations – 80
Child Safety Seats – 7
Intersection Violations – 204
Speeding – 506
Distracted Driving (Cell Phones) – 11
Other Violations – 130
Arrests – 2
Vehicles Impounded – 7
Hours Worked – 374.2
Miles Driven – 2,773
On Wednesday, July 18th, at approximately 10:20 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department stopped a black 2012 Jeep Wrangler in the area of 30th St and Grace St for a traffic violation. When officers approached the vehicle they saw that it was occupied by a white female driver and a white male passenger, who was later identified as 56 year old Larry Teague.
The driver gave officers consent to search the vehicle. During the search officers located inside the glove compartment a bag that contained a scale with a white residue on it along with several small, clear plastic bags. Officers then searched the occupants of the vehicle and located on Teague in his front right pocket three clear plastic bags that contained a crystal like substance that when field tested showed a positive for methamphetamine. Teague was placed under arrest and the driver was released.
While in route to the Wichita County jail Teague advised officers that he had more narcotics on him. Officers located in his underwear another bag with a crystal like substance. The total weight of narcotics located on Teague was 43.11 grams. Teague was also found to be in possession of an Alprazolam pill.
Teague was charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group one and possession of a controlled substance in penalty group three, both in a drug free zone.
The Hotter’n Hell 100 is fast approaching which means the presence of more cyclists on the roadway. The Wichita Falls Police Department reminds motorists to share the roadway and be aware. Here are a few safety tips to remember:
- Bicyclists have the rights and duties of other vehicle operators:(551.101)
Yes, this means you have to stop at stop signs and red lights, but cars are required to yield right-of-way to a bicycle when appropriate, just as to any other vehicle.
- Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic: (551.103)
Near the curb is subjective (we recommend leaving a cushion of about three feet) but the law gives a cyclist the right to take the lane when necessary for safety.
- At least one hand on the handlebars (two are safer): (551.102c)
One when signaling but two when turning works well.
- Use hand and arm signals: (545.107)
Point the way you are going, let the other operators know what you want to do.
- One rider per saddle: (551.102a)
Don’t let your friends share your bike while riding unless you’re both on a tandem.
- You may ride two abreast as long as you don’t impede traffic: (551.103c)
Racing and taking the lane are special cases.
- Must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear (for riding at night): (551.104b)
The light is primarily so people can see you coming from the side, where their headlights do not shine on your reflectors. The law, effective as of Sept. 2001, states that a red light can replace a red reflector.
- Brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid: (551.104a)
Don’t test that front brake to see if the wheel will skid while riding, especially downhill.
On Thursday, July 12th, at approximately 11:00 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department observed a white 1969 Chevrolet pickup with a blue Miller Bobcat welder in the bed traveling southbound in the 2200 block of Bridwell. The vehicle displayed an expired registration decal and the driver’s side tail light was not operating. When officers ran the license plate number they were advised that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Archer County.
Officers conducted a felony stop on the vehicle at Jacksboro Hwy and 34th St. The driver and only occupant was identified as 48 year old Billy Pierce. Pierce was placed into custody for being in possession of a stolen vehicle. Officers also discovered that the welder that was in the bed of the vehicle had also been reported stolen.
In a search incident to an arrest officers located in Pierce’s front right pants pockets a pair of brass knuckles. They also located a pill bottle with no name on it in his left pants pocket. The bottle contained 38 Tizanidine Hydrochloride pills. Pierce advised officers that he does not have a prescription for the pills.
When officers began searching the vehicle they located a loaded .22 caliber revolver sitting on the front seat. Officers also located a bag in the vehicle that held a plastic baggy that contained a crystal like substance that rendered a positive for methamphetamine when it was field tested. The drugs weighed .50 grams. Prior to being stopped Pierce had driven within 700 feet of the Bible Baptist Christian School which is a drug free zone.
Pierce was transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where he was charged with two counts of felony theft, prohibited weapon, possession of a substance in penalty group one, possession of a dangerous drug and a felon in possession of a firearm due to the fact that he showed to be a convicted felon.
The Wichita Falls Police Department along with several other local agencies to include the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office, Texas DPS and Vernon PD assisted the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office in the roundup of several individuals operating two narcotic trafficking networks in and around the area.
Twenty-two individuals were arrested this morning in connection to the operation along with the seizure of narcotics and firearms.
US Attorney Erin Cox described the operation as an important way, “to protect the public from the dangers and devastation caused by illegal drug trafficking.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Jackson gave a breakdown of the location of today’s arrests: four in Wichita Falls, nine in Vernon, one in Electra, one in Iowa Park, one in Abilene, three in Dallas, one in the Texarkana area, one in Horseshoe Bay, TX and one in Michigan.
WFPD Chief of Police Manuel Borrego stated, “this operation today made Wichita Falls and the citizens living within Wichita County a lot safer.”
Today at approximately 2:00 am officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were patrolling the area of Rhea Rd and Gossett Dr when they observed a grey Nissan Altima parked facing westbound in the eastbound lane of the 2900 block of Gossett Dr. Officers observed a white male exit the vehicle`s right passenger side and begin checking door handles on parked vehicles. After the male was done checking door handles he got back into the right rear passenger side of the Nissan Altima and it began to drive off westbound towards Rhea Rd.
Officers conducted a stop on the vehicle at the intersection of Gossett Dr and Rhea Rd. Contact was made with three occupants inside the vehicle. The driver was identified as 18 year old Nianicole Spence, the right rear passenger was identified as 20 year old Angel Medina and the front right passenger was identified as 17 year old Taylor Butler.
Officers had the three occupants exit the vehicle and detained them. Officers began looking around the vehicle and observed two different Visa credit cards with two different victims name on them lying on the front right passenger floorboard. The credit cards had the victims` names and a distinct 16 digit number on them. The credit cards did not belong to the occupants inside the vehicle. As officers reached in to pick them up they could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Officers began searching the vehicle and located a pink purse in the back seat. The pink purse had a United States passport card with victim`s name and a distinct 9 digit passport card number on it, making a total of three different victims. Officers also located a plastic bag containing a green leafy substance that rendered a positive for marijuana.
Officers located two of the victims who stated their vehicles were broken into and that the property officers located had been inside those vehicles.
Officers read all three suspects their Miranda warning and all three stated that they were party to the vehicle burglaries.
The suspects were transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where they were charged with two counts of burglary of a vehicle and fraudulent use or possession of identifying material. Butler also claimed ownership of the marijuana and was charged with that as well.
Over the past couple of weeks the Wichita Falls Police Department has seen an increase in counterfeit bills being reported in the local area. The majority of the bills are 100’s. At this time there are little leads on suspect(s).
A way to prevent from becoming a victim is to gain knowledge. You can do that by learning what security features are incorporated into each bill. The following link is a PDF describing security features on various bills: (https://www.secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf).
You can also take a free online training course at https://www.uscurrency.gov/training-course and learn more about the money you handle.
If you have any information on this crime you can contact the WFPD at 940-761-7792 or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 322-9888.
On Monday, July 2nd, at approximately 8:00 am officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 100 block of Evergreen in reference to a possible burglary of a storage building.
Upon arrival they spoke with a witness who stated that when he arrived to work he noticed that a lock to some storage units was cut off. The witness stated that he then went inside the storage unit to see if anyone was inside. When he walked inside he observed a black male with both of his arms full of tools standing in the storage unit. At this time the witness stated that the male subject dropped the items and stated “What`s up?” while raising his fists like he was about to fight. The witness stated that he exited the storage unit and locked the male subject inside and called police.
When officers opened the storage unit they observed the subject inside. He was identified as 31 year old Erik Brewer. Officers were able to get Brewer detained. He was found to be in possession of a pair of Kobalt pliers and bolt cutters that a victim stated had been in the bed of his truck.
Brewer was transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where he was charged with burglary of a building and theft.
Officer Charles Sleigh Carlisle
Today we honor Officer Charles Sleigh Carlisle. On this date in 1933 he gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of Wichita Falls, Texas.
Officer Carlisle succumbed to gunshot wounds received while he and his partner tried to question a man about an aggravated robbery.
Officer Down Memorial
As we get closer to celebrating July 4th the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of the City Ordinance prohibiting the use or possession of fireworks.
The possession of all fireworks is illegal in the city limits of Wichita Falls. If you are found to be in possession of or discharging fireworks you can be subject to a fine. It is important that the public recognize the potential dangers in the use and handling of fireworks.
With safety in mind, we would like to remind residents and visitors that the best way to celebrate the 4th of July holiday with family and friends is by attending the 4th in the Falls celebration at the MPEC.