The APD to increase number of officers assigned to directed patr - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

The APD to increase number of officers assigned to directed patrol

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Amarillo, TX - The Amarillo Police Department saw a decrease in emergency calls in 2013, but response times for those calls has slowed.

Local police will be implementing a new plan aimed at helping officers respond faster.

When you are waiting for police to show up after an emergency or if you have been a victim of a crime, every second counts.

Officers say they are getting to calls as fast as possible, while also being thorough. Sergeant. Brent Barbee explains what may be behind this.

"Officers are responsible for a lot more these days, the field officers contact witnesses and speak to them and try to gather a much information from witnesses as they can to try and stream line the operation for when the case is forwarded to detectives. Very often they may have witness available at the scene right then and there"

Response times may have slowed slightly, but Sergeant Barbee says this shouldn't be a reflection of the quality of work being done.

"Very often people gage a departments ability by response time and I think that is because it is easy to do, the only thing you have to do is look at your watch and you can tell how long it took for the police to get there. However, I'm not sure that is really an accurate way to judge the quality of the police work."

The Amarillo Police Department plans to increase the number of officers assigned to directed patrol in the coming year, they hope this will improve response times.

"The idea is for those officers is to take criminal offenders our of circulation. So if that offender is out of circulation because we have served a warrant and an arrested him or because we have caught him through investigation, if that guy is in jail and not committing crimes, that is fewer calls for us to have to respond to."