AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Police Explorers program is expanding its social media presence to better communicate with Amarillo’s youth.
The Snapchat account will be run by active duty Amarillo Police Department officers inside and outside of the Explorers program.
“We want to get in touch with more kids,” said Amarillo Police Department Assistant Chief of Police Martin Birkenfeld. “[We would] let them know about the program, let them see what their cohorts are doing in the program, and we also want to make sure that we’re being transparent so that the public in general knows what we’re doing.”
The department plans to give Amarillo’s youth an inside look as to what officers do on a daily basis and what goes on during the Explorers programs.
“They can communicate with us and kind of let everybody know that we’re a part of this community, not just as police officers going out there and working wrecks and taking reports and arresting people,” said Amarillo Police Department Crime Prevention Supervisor Sgt. Carla Burr.
Their Snapchat account also aims to attract more kids to join the program.
“Our goal is to be good mentors to these kids, but also bring them up to be good citizens and then, eventually, bring them up to the law enforcement profession if that’s what they choose,” said Birkenfeld. “That’s our vision for our other social media outlets, is to show in real time, here’s what we’re doing, here’s the kind of fun that our kids are having and why don’t you come join us?”
Birkenfeld said the Explorer program was the reason why he is in law enforcement today.
“Law enforcement exploring and exploring in general has been around a long time, and in fact, when I was a youth in the 80′s, there was an exploring program here in Amarillo--one at the police department and then later at the sheriff’s department and that’s how I got in to the law enforcement business,” said Birkenfeld.
The Explorers Facebook post asked parents and students to let the department know what they would like to see on the Snapchat account.
“We want the public to trust the police department. We want children to understand that police work is a noble profession and it’s something that they inspire to do,” said Birkenfeld. “We want them to know what we do, and how we do it and why we do it.”
You can add the Amarillo Police Explorers Snapchat by scanning the code below or searching their name.
For more information about the program or to sign up, contact Martin Birkenfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (806)378-4252.