PRESS RELEASE: On Monday, June 3, Attorney General William P. Barr announced that Amarillo was chosen as one of 10 cities in the nation to participate in the National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) to Combat Violent Crime. This partnership is provided through the Department of Justice and provides additional support to our city by collaborating on public safety strategies. The Amarillo Police Department applied in March to participate in the PSP program because we believe it can improve our capacity to address violent crime in our City. The DOJ will directly engage with APD to identify and prioritize resources needed to address violent crimes in the city, specifically those regarding repeat violent offenders and those using weapons to commit crimes. The DOJ will assist APD by funding the cost of customized training in the areas of investigations, crime analysis, community engagement, and technology. The DOJ will also provide APD staff opportunities to visit peer cities to observe how other communities have addressed similar problems with violent crime. DOJ will also assist APD in identifying and applying for federal grant opportunities.
The Amarillo Police Department is already partnering with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas and other federal authorities for Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) to investigate prosecute and prevent violent crimes in Amarillo. The National Public Safety Partnership is separate from Project Safe Neighborhood, but these two programs will supplement each other. While PSN allows APD to work with Federal Law Enforcement (LE) to prosecute violent offenders on federal charges relating to their crimes in specific geographic areas of the City; the PSP program will provide additional training and resources concentrated more on preventing or lowering violent crimes through targeted strategies Citywide.
Although the overall crime rate for the city has steadily gone down, from 2016 to 2017, Amarillo saw a 6.1% rise in violent crime and from 2017 to 2018, Amarillo saw a 6.7% rise in violent crime. The National Public Safety Partnership will help the Amarillo Police Department address these issues and work towards lowering the violent crime numbers in our city.