"On Wednesday, December 14th, at 12:00 noon, the Amarillo Police Department’s 89th Police Academy graduated. The graduation ceremony was held in the Grand Plaza of the Amarillo Civic Center. City of Amarillo Municipal Court Judge Sonya Letson administered the oath to the new officers. Officers being sworn in often have family members actually pin on their badge.
Seven of the officers completed 1,113 hours of police training since beginning the academy on June 2nd, 2016. The first phase of the academy provides officers with the knowledge to pass the Texas Basic Peace Officer’s Certification test. Two additional officers already had a state certification and previous experience at the Amarillo Police Department that allowed them to enter the academy after the Basic Certification test. After basic state certification, the recruit officers complete a series of more advanced courses. This phase of the academy provides instruction needed to function within procedures specific to this Department, and provides training beyond the state minimum.
The APD Academy training covers subjects including but not limited to emergency vehicle operation, report writing, Department rules and regulations, constitutional rights, criminal and traffic law, search and seizure, procedural justice, de-escalation training, criminal investigation, mental health crisis intervention, mechanics of arrest, and self-defense. When officers graduate from the academy, they are assigned to the Uniform Division. They continue individual training under the supervision of a Field Training Officer for the next four months. During this training, they are assigned to each of the three shifts for two to five weeks. Through the training, they are expected to continue to learn and to demonstrate increasing competency. They are evaluated on a daily basis.
Two of the new officers were recognized for individual achievements during the academy: James Adams received the Capt. J.T. Carver Award for highest final overall grade point average. Adams also claimed the plaque as “Top Shooter” in the competition held as part of firearms training. Benjamin Wertz was recognized with the Fitness Instructor’s Award for his performance, improvement, and motivation of peers in that area of instruction.
The Amarillo Police Department’s authorized strength is 375 sworn officers, with about 200 of those assigned to the Uniform Division. The current actual count of officers is 351 including the 9 that graduated today and the 8 in the 90th Academy session that started December 1st, 2017. The Training and Personnel Division is currently conducting background investigations for candidates for the 91th Academy, set to begin June 1st, 2017. On May 6th, 2017, the Department will begin accepting applications for the 92nd Academy."
-Amarillo Police Dept.