Chief Marco A. Vargas was born in El Paso Texas and raised in Los Angeles California. He is a 1992 graduate of Del Valle High School. After graduation he enlisted in the United States Navy. After serving in the Navy, Chief Vargas began his career as a Detention Officer with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
While with the Sheriff’s Office, he rose through the ranks from Detention Officer, Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Sergeant, Deputy Lieutenant, Deputy Commander and Assistant Chief Deputy Sheriff. He has previous experience in working the Detention Division, Patrol Division, Administration Division, Criminal Investigations Division and Jail Annex Divisions. While with the Sheriff’s Office Chief Vargas was awarded the Life Saving Medal, various Unit Citations, Good Conduct Ribbon, Sheriff’s Merit Award, Executive of the Year once, Supervisor of the Year twice and awarded several commendations.
Chief Vargas is a graduate of the FBI National Academy #244 and the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas Leadership Command College #74. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Psychology from Park University, a Masters of Science Degree in Public Administration and Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice both from Sul Ross State University.
Chief Vargas is a former volunteer for El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Foundation, Special Olympics as a Torch Runner and March of Dimes as a collaborator. He currently volunteers his time coaching girls fastpitch softball for the El Paso Lions Softball Club.
The Horizon City Police Department consists of 30 sworn full-time officers, 2 Administrative Assistants, and 21 Telecommunicators. Horizon City has grown from a population of 5,000 in the year 2000 to 23,000 in the recent 2022 estimated census.
Assistant Chief Manuel Rico has been with the Horizon City Police Department since 1996. He is one of the few officers who has been witness to the explosive growth in this community.
Chief Rico is responsible for the oversight of daily patrol operations as well as the specialized CID and Warrants divisions of the Police Department in order to provide the best possible professional police service, and maintain a safe community for the citizens of the Town of Horizon City.
Chief Rico conducts reviews of officer conduct complaints and develops officer improvement strategies in officer field performance.
Chief Rico manages the selection and training of new police officers. When necessary, Chief Rico initiates the action necessary for recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, training, commendation, and disciplining of officers.
Cynthia Luna is the Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police. Her responsibilities involve clerical and office support to help the office operations run smoothly. Cynthia maintains control and organization of officer training and confidential personnel records. The State of Texas requires all police departments to submit statistical data and police reports to them on a monthly basis and Cynthia prepares these reports and also facilitates police reports to the Horizon City Municipal Court for use in court hearings.
Cynthia is responsible for the police department's payroll, checking time sheets for errors and making sure that all the proper documentation is present so that the city finance department will have the correct information and police personnel can provide for their families.
Some police operations are funded through federal reimbursement grants and Cynthia must ensure that the payroll is processed precisely so that the city receives a prompt reimbursement.
The Crime Prevention Division was established by Chief McConnell in 2011 to meet the demand for such a program by our growing city. Since then, our outreach efforts have taken us into partnerships with area school districts, and allowed us to create networking opportunities with business owners and resource service providers.
Crime Prevention Mission Statement
Crime prevention is the result of a community's commitment to itself.
The Horizon City Police Department Criminal Investigations Division consists of two full-time detectives. All felony cases are assigned for follow-up and Misdemeanor cases are assigned for follow-up when evidence or property has been seized or when required by the case investigation. The responsibilities of Detective consist of the following:
The Detectives assigned to the Horizon City Police Department may be called out at any time and respond depending upon the immediacy of the case. Final determination on whether detectives respond is made by the shift supervisor. Detectives work closely with neighbor agencies and provide support for officers on patrol.
Evidence management is crucial to the successful prosecution of criminal cases. The evidence manager is responsible for overseeing the proper preservation and submission of evidence items for temporary and permanent storage during investigation and court proceedings. Running a well maintained, well documented and orderly evidence room has helped put and keep dangerous criminals in prison.
Lost/ Found Property
If you find something that you may think is lost or stolen, you can contact the Horizon City Police Department and if the responding officer has reason to believe that the item is in fact possibly stolen or that its owner could be looking for it, the officer will collect the item from you and bring it into our station for safekeeping. If you have any interest in the item and you wish to claim it, you may do so after 31 days by contacting the evidence/ property manager by phone, or coming in to our station to make the request.
Property which has been abandoned/ stored for safekeeping at the City Police Department is kept for 31 days when we don't know who the owner is and 62 days once the owner has been notified that we have their property.
If you are notified that property belonging to you has been turned, you must claim the property within 62 days. Once that time is up, we will either dispose of the property as applicable by law or initiate the process to claim that property for department or city use.
If our officers collected evidence in a case where you were a suspect or victim, we will need a release of evidence court order which you may obtain from the court which heard your case, sometimes immediately after the case disposition, be sure to ask the court staff. Once you have that in hand, bring it personally to our station and we will make every effort to immediately release the property to you.
Release of Property or Evidence
Our priority is providing a service to our community and we are glad to make arrangements with our citizens when necessary in order to get property back to its rightful owners. It is recommended that you make an appointment in order to better serve you.
Background Check/ Criminal History Required
The Horizon City Police Department will conduct a background and criminal history check on any person claiming a firearm, even if the firearm was not used in a crime. Please allow extra time when coming in to collect a firearm as these checks can take more than just a few minutes to complete.
It is the mission of the Horizon City Police Department to provide professional services with integrity and dedication, to preserve life, to enforce the law, and to work in partnership with the community to enhance the quality of life in the Town of Horizon City. The back bone of our police department is the patrol division. Patrol officers handle radio dispatched calls for service, walk-ins in our lobby, document incidents, take statements, and investigate all sorts of calls as needed. The patrol division also responds and investigates motor vehicle accidents, conducts traffic stops, along with proactive patrol within the city.
We provide patrol coverage 24 hours a day /365 days a year. Officers are assigned to one of three shifts. Each shift is comprised of 3 officers and one Sergeant. The patrol division is the first stop in the career path of a new police officer. In terms of time-in-position; We have new officers who are currently in field training ranging to the most senior patrol officer who has 10 years of patrol experience. The officers who are currently on patrol are all eager to work and enjoy the job that they do and love helping people. A few of the things that help make the job more enjoyable are the equipment that is provided to the officers. Such as AR-15 rifles, electronic ticket writers, fairly new units that are fully equipped with in-car video cameras, unit radars and computers.
The warrants Division is committed to providing quality customer service to all who appear in the court all the while diligently executing the administrative duties of the Municipal Court as set forth by law. We promise to be innovative in creating methods and techniques that allow us to be more responsive to the needs of the public. A Police Warrants Officer performs responsible investigative work in the warrants detail within the Police Operations Division of the Police Department. Warrants officers primarily perform detailed investigations on individuals with outstanding City of Horizon warrants and also performs process server functions. Specific duties include: serving summonses, leaving notices of arrest to person who have outstanding warrants, and recording the statistical data into a computer database.
Warrants officers also contact the Sheriff’s Department, in order to arrange for prisoners that have outstanding Horizon City warrants to be transported from the Jail Annex to the downtown jail.
Warrants officers perform investigative work on warrants using various computer systems such as the County ILeads computer program, City Court data base, and other sources. Warrants officers work closely with probation departments, to check if any probationers have outstanding Horizon City warrants and assisting sworn officers with the execution of warrants on wanted persons.
The Horizon City Police Department warrants division consists of one police officer overseen by the Support Services Lieutenant. The officer must be knowledgeable about civil law, subpoenas, summons, etc. The work requires considerable independence, initiative, and judgment in performing the investigations and related duties. Warrants officers also serve as the bailiff for the municipal court and oversees court sanctioned community service.
Other Warrants Divisions Duties:
If you have a police related question or need an officer dispatched to your location for any incident that is not in progress, you can call our dispatch number - 915-852-1047. If you have an emergency – always call 9-1-1.
The communications section has been up and running for four years. The office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a year. We have 17 Communications Specialists in the division with a minimum of three on-duty for each shift. We conduct dispatching services for the Horizon City Police Department and all El Paso County fire departments. Our Communications Specialists are all trained to handle 911 calls, non-emergency calls and dispatch those same calls for service in a timely manner to our officers and fire units out in the field. They document all information, including officer response times and activities, into our CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system. They are all licensed telecommunicators and are able to provide our officers with information on driver’s licenses, license plates, wanted and missing persons, stolen vehicles, and stolen articles.
We are also honored to provide communications services for all the El Paso County fire departments outside the City of El Paso. Part of our duties are to ensure that all county fire/ambulance calls are appropriately routed to the correct department and that the necessary units are placed en route as soon as possible. We work closely with Emergency Services District #1 and Emergency Services District # 2 to ensure the quickest possible responses. Our dispatchers also document the calls with information provided by the firefighters and continuously check the status of those same firefighters while they are out on a scene.
Some of the other tasks our communications specialists are responsible for are: releasing reports to involved parties, filling out fingerprint cards, collecting fees, researching various databases to provide pertinent information to our officers, collecting preliminary information from walk-ins and callers in order to create a call for service, refer callers to outside agencies when necessary, contact utility companies as needed, request wreckers for officers, and create and maintain a good working relationship with other agencies.