Protect Your Property – Lock, Take, and Hide

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The WFPD would like to remind you to Lock Your Car, Take Your Keys, and Hide/Remove Your Belongings! A large majority of the vehicles burglarized are being left unlocked and thieves are checking door handles stealing everything from stereos and electronics to purses and guns. It only takes a few seconds to remove a weapon from your vehicle and secure it elsewhere so that it doesn’t fall in the wrong hands.

WFPD Crime Prevention Specialist Officer Jeff Hughes says, “Most of the guns that are being reported stolen from a vehicle burglary are from unlocked vehicles. These guns are falling into the hands of the thieves and being used in other, more violent crimes. My advice would be to never leave an unsecured gun, or any other valuable item, in a vehicle. By removing them, you eliminate the criminal’s opportunity.”

Whether you are home for the night, out shopping, or just running a quick errand, please remember to Lock, Take, and Hide!!!

City Ordinances Pertaining to Fireworks

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As we get closer to celebrating the 4th of July, the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of the City Ordinances 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.

Please celebrate Independence Day safely and responsibly!

ARTICLE IV. – PYROTECHNICS
Sec. 50-93. – Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Pyrotechnics means and includes any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, and includes Roman candles; sky rockets; helicopter-type rockets; cylindrical fountains, cone fountains; wheels; illuminating torches and colored fire in any form; sparklers and dip sticks; mines; shells; firecrackers; salutes; whistles without report; squibs; a fire balloon; a hydrogen-filled balloon; signal lights; blank cartridges; toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes or toy guns in which explosives are used; torpedoes; dago bombs or other devices of like construction and any devices containing any explosive or flammable compound or any tablets or other devices containing any explosive substance. However, the term “pyrotechnics” does not include auto flares, paper caps containing not in excess of an average of 0.25 of a grain of explosive content per paper cap manufactured in accordance with the regulations for packing and shipping as provided therein and toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices for use of such caps, the sale and use of which shall be permitted.

(Code 1966, § 15-1(a); Code 2001, § 50-91)

Sec. 50-94. – Applicability.

(a)

This article shall not apply to the possession or use of signaling devices for current daily consumption by railroads, the Police Department and Fire Department and others required to use them by law, nor to the possession, sale or use of normal stock of flashlight compositions by photographers or dealers in photographic supplies or for signal or ceremonial purposes or athletic or sports events or for the use by military organizations.

(b)

This article shall be applicable within the corporate city limits and also within the area immediately adjacent and contiguous to the city limits and extending outside the city limits for a distance of 5,000 feet. Notwithstanding the prohibitions contained in this article, pyrotechnics warehouses and commercial wholesale pyrotechnics stores containing in size at least 1,500 square feet existing on the effective date of the ordinance from which this section is derived shall be authorized to continue operation for a period of ten years from date of annexation into the city. Upon the expiration of such ten-year period, such structures shall be utilized for a purpose consistent with the requirements of this article. Commercial wholesale pyrotechnics stores, as that term is used in this subsection, shall mean pyrotechnics stores that sell pyrotechnic devices to bona fide retail dealers and not to the general public.

(Code 1966, § 15-1(d), (j); Code 2001, § 50-92)

Sec. 50-95. – Using, keeping, storing, manufacturing or selling in city limits.

No person shall fire or explode or keep, store, manufacture or sell any pyrotechnics in the corporate city limits.

(Code 1966, § 15-1(b); Code 2001, § 50-95)

Sec. 50-96. – Possession in city limits; identification of commercial vehicles.

(a)

No person shall have in his possession in the corporate city limits any pyrotechnics. Subject to Texas Local Government Code § 342.013, any pyrotechnics so found in the possession of any person shall be condemned, seized, and confiscated by the Police Department or the fire marshal.

(b)

Any commercial pyrotechnics dealer or operator, jobber, retailer, importer, or manufacturer transporting Class C fireworks within the city limits and extending for a distance outside of the city limits for a total of 5,000 feet must display on each vehicle the word “fireworks.” This may be permanently attached to the vehicle or on a sign. The word “fireworks” must be at least six inches in height and shall be visible on both sides and the rear of the vehicle.

(c)

Prosecution for possession of fireworks pursuant to this article shall be subject to the affirmative defense established by Texas Local Government Code § 342.013.

(Code 1966, § 15-1(c); Code 2001, § 50-96)

State Law reference— Extraterritorial jurisdiction regarding nuisances, Texas Local Government Code § 217.001.

Sec. 50-97. – Permit for pyrotechnics display.

The state fire marshal may issue a written permit to a properly qualified person for giving a pyrotechnic display in accordance with Texas Government Code § 417.0041. It shall be the duty of the city fire marshal to make an investigation as to whether such a display as proposed shall be of such a character and so located that it may be hazardous to property or dangerous to any person, and he shall so advise the state fire marshal of his findings. All pyrotechnic displays must be permitted by the city Fire Marshal’s Office. A fee established by separate ordinance will be assessed for the permit. All displays will be supervised by the fire marshal.

(Code 1966, § 15-1(e); Code 2001, § 50-97)

Sec. 50-98. – Use, keeping, manufacturing or selling in extraterritorial jurisdiction.

(a)

No person shall have, keep, store, manufacture or sell any pyrotechnics within the area immediately adjacent and contiguous to the city limits and extending for a distance outside of the city limits for a total of 50 feet. It shall be unlawful to do or perform any act in violation of this subsection within such area of 50 feet outside the city limits, provided that this subsection shall not apply within any portion of such 50-foot area which is contained within the territory of any other municipal corporation.

(b)

No person shall use, fire, explode or cause to be used, fired or exploded any pyrotechnics within the area immediately adjacent and contiguous to the city limits and extending for a distance outside the city limits for a total of 50 feet. It shall be unlawful to do or perform any act in violation of this subsection within such area of 50 feet outside the city limits, provided that this subsection shall not apply within any portion of such 50-foot area which is contained within the territory of any other municipal corporation.

(Code 1966, § 15-1(f), (g); Code 2001, § 50-98)

Sec. 50-99. – Permit for keeping, manufacturing or selling in extraterritorial jurisdiction.

No person shall have, keep, store, manufacture or sell any pyrotechnics within an area extending for a distance outside of the city limits from a distance of 50 feet to a distance of 5,000 feet from the city limits, unless such person shall have obtained a permit from the city fire marshal’s office. The application for such permit shall contain the specific location of the building used to keep, store, manufacture or sell the pyrotechnics and must also contain a blueprint or diagram showing the construction of such building. The construction of the building must comply with the rules and regulations of the city fire marshal’s office. A permit fee established by separate ordinance will be assessed per retail location.

(Code 1966, § 15-1(h); Code 2001, § 50-99)

Sec. 50-100. – Hours of closing for manufacturing or selling in extraterritorial jurisdiction.

All persons manufacturing or selling pyrotechnics within an area extending for a distance outside of the city limits from a distance of 50 feet to a distance of 5,000 feet from the city limits shall close their doors and places of business each night from 11:55 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. the following morning and shall not sell or manufacture any pyrotechnics during this time period.

(Code 1966, § 15-1(i); Code 2001, § 50-100)

WFPD Reminder: All Fireworks are Illegal Inside City Limits

fireworksAs 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.

WFPD Arrest Suspect on Two Counts of Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant and Burglary

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Steven Oliver

On Wednesday June 5th at approximately 10:50 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department responded to a check welfare at a residence in the 1200 block of 35th.  Officers were advised that the suspect had forced his way into the residence and threatened the victim inside with a firearm.

When officers arrived they approached the door of the residence when they heard a male voice tell them not to open the door.  Multiple rounds were then fired out the door. Officers set up a perimeter around the house and attempted to make contact with the suspect.

At approximately 11:18 pm officers were able to make contact with the suspect and get him detained.  He was identified as 23 year old Steven Oliver.

Oliver was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and burglary of a habitation.

No one was injured in this encounter.

Vehicle Burglaries: See Something, Say Something

Vehicle-BurglaryThe Wichita Falls Police Department has received numerous burglary of a vehicle reports where the victim vehicle was unlocked. The WFPD would like to remind people that one of the best ways to help prevent from becoming a victim of vehicle burglary is to simply lock your vehicles, and a special reminder to not leave unsecured firearms in your vehicle. Also, if you see something or someone suspicious in your neighborhoods, contact police.

Take, Lock, Hide. The basic crime fighting tool to help reduce vehicle burglaries.

Lock your vehicle. It takes seconds to break a window, but doing so makes noise – and criminals hate making noise.

Hide valuables from sight, or take items with you. If a criminal doesn’t see anything, they’re less likely to break in, and will move on. Park in areas that are not secluded. Well lit parking lots, with good “sight lines”, make it more likely your vehicle is visible to the general public. Aftermarket car stereos; consider models with removable face plates.  Take the face plate with you when you leave your vehicle. Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your vehicle. If stolen, it makes it more likely the suspect, if he tries to pawn, will be identified.

There is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent all crime. You can make yourself less likely to be a victim of a burglary. Simply locking your vehicle and removing property from inside is half the battle.

Local Man Arrested on Multiple Felony Charges to Include Burglary and Motor Vehicle Theft

Downey, Ryan

Ryan Downey

On Monday April 8th at approximately 8:45 am officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 4800 block of Johnson Rd in reference to a possible burglary.  Upon arrival officers spoke with the victim who stated that 22 year old Ryan Downey forced entry into her apartment, assaulted her, stole a necklace, took her car keys and drove off with her 2013 black Chevrolet Impala.

WFPD Officers observed a 2013 black Chevrolet Impala driving in the area of McNiel and Call Field and attempted to initiate a traffic stop.  The driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as Downey, refused to pull over and began to speed away in an apparent attempt to evade police. Downey struck a curb in the 4300 block of Seymour Rd at which time he jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot.  He was caught by officers in the 4300 block of Seymour Hwy.

Downey was transported to the Wichita County jail without further incident where he was charged with burglary of a habitation, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and evading.

Wichita Falls man arrested for threatening officers.

simsOn March 18, at 5:15 pm, officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to a residence in the 1200 blk of Kenley for a disturbance.    The parties separated after  the situation was calmed down.  Some went inside the residence and the suspect, Tyler Sims, began to walk away.  As the officers walked back to their vehicles  Sims turned around and came walking back to the residence.  Sims then pulled out his cell phone and called 911 asking for two new officers because he was about to kill the two that were there.  The officers, overhearing this threat, arrested Sims after a brief physical struggle.  Sims was charged with Terroristic Threat Against a Public Servant.

WFPD Motors Unit Brings Home Top Honors From 6th Annual COTPMCO

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Members of the Wichita Falls Police Department’s Motorcycle Unit participated in the 6th Annual COTPMCO (Capital of TX Police Motorcycle Chute Out) held in Buda, TX between February 27 and March 2nd.

They competed against several other agencies and came home with multiple top finishes to include coming in First place for the Overall Team Award.

Along with competing the officers attending we were able to meet with numerous agencies from several different states, sharing training ideas and tactics, along with looking at the latest in technology related to police motorcycle operation.

Congratulations to all those who competed.

First Place Overall Team Award

Sgt. Van Dotson

Officer Justin Whisenhunt

Officer Clint Halloway

Officer Danny Castillo

 

Third Place Team Challenge Event

Sgt. Van Dotson

Officer Justin Whisenhunt

Officer Clint Halloway

Officer Chris Cozart

 

**Individual Awards by Category**

 

Metric Bike – Expert Class

2nd Place – Officer Chris Cozart

6th Place – Sgt. Van Dotson

7th Place – Officer Justin Whisenhunt

8th Place – Officer Clint Halloway

11th Place – Officer Danny Castillo

12th Place – Officer C.J. Mauck

13th Place – Officer Kody McBride

17th Place – Sgt. Leland Wright

 

Metric Bike – Novice Class

3rd Place – Officer Jessie Whitehead

5th Place – Officer Dustin Moffett

7th Place – Officer Danny Atnip

Coffee with a Cop this Friday.

coffee-with-a-cop1Members of the community are invited to attend the
Coffee with a Cop event this Friday, February 22nd from 7:30 am to 8:30 am at McDonald’s, located at 1412 Holliday St. Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and meet the officers that serve the community.
 
We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers. These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.