AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Police Department's annual Policeman's Ball next weekend brings fond memories for the Assistant Chief of Police.
The event is a good time for all, but will also benefit the Explorers program.
"We want to have a chance for our police officers and the public to interact in a fun environment," said Assistant Police Chief Martin Birkenfeld.
The Policeman's Ball will feature a Prime Rib dinner, dancing and music from the Velvet Funk.
Tickets are $50 and can be purchased directly from Assistant Police Chief Martin Birkenfeld.
If you would like to buy a ticket, you can contact Birkenfeld by either phone: (806) 378-4252, or email: martin.birkenfeld@Amarillo.gov .
Birkenfeld has a personal interest in the Explorers program. He took part in the program growing up.
"I was exposed to exploring when I was about 16 years old," said Birkenfeld. "I was still in high school, I didn't really understand what direction I was going to go, but I had thought about being a police officer."
The program helped set him on a path in life.
"It just gave me a good sense of direction and helped me choose what I wanted to do with my life," said Birkenfeld. "Exploring allowed me to get hands on experience. It's a big reason I am here today, 30 years later in law enforcement."
Fundraisers allow the police to go the extra mile to give back to the community.
Government funding for the police department goes towards training officers and purchasing equipment like police cars. Any other program requires outside funding.
"When we are talking about do young programs and extra things that are outside the scope of a [police officer's] normal duty, we have to find creative ways to raise funds and make those things happen," said Birkenfeld.
He believes it's the responsibility of others to always give back.
"It's our job to be good mentors," said Birkenfeld. "We're trying in many different avenues to try and reach out, help mentor kids, help develop good leaders, help develop good police officers and help just generally through outreach programs like this."
Birkenfeld says by attending the event, it shows kids in the program that the public supports them and the police force.
"I think when kids see people turn out for the Policeman's Ball they'll understand why we constantly tell them we have a great community support, especially here in Amarillo," said Birkenfeld. "Law enforcement is a noble profession. There is always controversial things that come up, but at it's core we have a great deal of support in Amarillo."
The event is open to any and all members of the public.