What It Takes: The Amarillo Police Academy - Episode 3

Officer Thomas Newton
Officer Thomas Newton
Cpl. Steve Powers
Cpl. Steve Powers

The skills they learn from books will keep them on the right side of the law..

But the skills they learn from instructors could save someone's life... Or stop someone from taking anothers.

Tonight, two important lessons.. How to be a first responder and dealing with gang violence in the city.

Picture it...a car accident.. A victim needs help... Who is there first... Police.

Officer Thomas Newton with APD says, "Most of these guys have never had any kind of medical training and to get sent on a medical call where someone is either injured or bleeding or hurt.... I hope i can prepare them and keep them from getting that shock."

Officer Newton says they try to instill steps for the cadets to go through so when they are in the field... They don't forget their training..

But the first time is never easy.

Officer Newton says, "We let them make mistakes, because it's better that they make a mistake in here than out there."

Cpl. Steve Powers has been involved in cracking down on the Amarillo gang scene for 15 years..

He says his biggest challenge is getting over the small town mentality.

Cpl. Powers says, "That's probably the number one thing to overcome, is quit thinking that just because we live in Amarillo they don't exist. You really aren't working Amarillo, you aren't working the school they go to, you are not working the side of town, you aren't working the kids parents, you are working the kid and their mentality"

Working the kid... Means understand their gang and their signs and recognizing non verbal challenges.

"They need to understand all the non verbal cues about the kids on the streets." Cpl. Powers says.

Cpl. Powers says knowing those cues could stop violence in it's tracks.