City of Amarillo: ARPA funds to enhance public safety

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 8:43 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo says funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) were set to go toward athletic field lighting at parks, however the City says it was able to fund those projects through other means.

The City of Amarillo has $2.2 million to use and has allocated it toward enhancing public safety.

“Public safety is one of our top priorities, it always has been for our city council and our current city council saw that as a need to continue putting dollars into those areas,” said Laura Storrs.

Storrs says half of the ARPA funds will go toward enhancing the lighting at Medi Park.

“That’s an area that’s utilized by a lot of our citizens, a lot of people coming into the area that are visiting our medical facilities, they all utilize that park as well, we’ve heard for years, you know, there’s some challenges there and lighting helps with some of those challenges,” said Storrs.

She says once the project is completed at Medi Park, if there are any funds leftover the City will do more work at low to moderate income parks.

The other half of funds will go to the Amarillo Police Department and the Amarillo Fire Department.

APD says these funds will allow for police medical trauma bags, breaching toolkits, a crisis negotiation vehicle, a police K9 and outer vest carriers.

“All these things are going to enhance our service for the community in the case of something where those services would be needed and it’s better to have them than to have the situation happen and now we’re like, you know, here’s what we could have done, if we would have had this,” said Sgt. Carla Burr, public information officer, APD.

AFD is also receiving some new equipment.

“We will have every one of our trucks, our frontline trucks that will have a Lifepak 15, 12-lead cardiac monitor on it... Our guys that have been trained to the paramedic level can read that heart rate and can diagnose things that may not be presenting from signs and symptoms,” said Chief Jason Mays, AFD.

Chief Mays says these ARPA dollars will also fund paramedic training for 15 firefighters.

The City of Amarillo says the community can expect to see changes soon related to this funding, as the money is already in the City’s hands.