AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Police Department's 89th Police Academy has graduated and their ceremony was held in the Grand Plaza of the Amarillo Civic Center.
Seven of the officers completed 1,113 hours of police training since beginning the academy on June 2, 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 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.
Officers pictured in photo:
Front row left to right - James Adams, Jennifer Jones, Chief Ed Drain, Adrian Merino, Benjamin Wentz
Back row left to right – Sergeant Mike Martinez, Michael Woodard, Jimmy Lake, Joshua Wootton, Randle Harlan, Austin Billstrom Captain Jimmy Johnson