Nine officers graduate from 91st Amarillo Police Department Academy


Front row left to right–Sgt. Mike Martinez, Ofc. Jose Samarron, Ofc. Christopher Thompson, Chief Ed Drain, Ofc. Jarrid Gray, Ofc. Danisse Garcia, Capt. Jimmy Johnson

Back row left to right–Ofc. Caleb Drake, Ofc. Justin Griffith, Ofc. Damarcus Harman, Ofc. Daymond Rutherford Ofc. Jordan Reed 

Photo by Jennifer Torres

On Tuesday, December 12th, the 91st Session of the Amarillo Police Department’s Academy graduated. The graduation ceremony was held in the Grand Plaza of the Amarillo Civic Center.

The Honorable Ginger Nelson, Mayor of Amarillo, provided remarks. City of Amarillo Municipal Court Judge Sonya Letson administered the oath to the new officers. Chief Ed Drain presented the officers with graduation certificates and badges. The officers then had family members pin on their newly issued badges.

The nine officers completed 1,113 hours of police training since beginning the academy on June 1st, 2017. The first phase of the academy provides officers with the knowledge to pass the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Basic Proficiency Certification test. After the Basic Proficiency test is completed, 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. It also provides training beyond the state minimum requirement.

The APD Academy training covers subjects including but not limited to emergency 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 direct 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.

Three of the new officers were recognized for individual achievements during the academy: Justin Griffith received the Capt. J.T. Carver Award for highest final overall grade point average. Christopher Thompson claimed the plaque as “Top Shooter” in a competition held as part of firearms training. Jose Samarron was recognized with the Fitness Instructor’s Award. Fitness Instructors select the recipient of this award based on a recruit’s performance, improvement, and motivation of peers in that area of instruction.

The Amarillo Police Department’s 92nd Academy is now in session with 11 recruit officers scheduled to graduate in June, 2018. Check the Amarillo Police Recruiting Facebook page to stay current on hiring and activity of the Academy.

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