AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Thursday, members of the Justice Department met with local authorities to talk about the Amarillo Police Department’s National Public Safety Partnership (PSP).
The PSP Program will provide law enforcement training and technical assistance to APD.
Amarillo is one of ten sites chosen for the PSP program through the Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Over three years, APD will receive law enforcement training by federal government departments like ATF and Homeland Security.
“Some of the things that this is going to do for our community is to provide training for our police officers, our detectives, our crime analysts,” said Amarillo Police Chief Ed Drain. “We’re going to be able to get assessments in technical areas on our staffing, on how we do things, also going to be provided to us free of charge.”
Chief Drain applied for the program, saying he hopes it will reduce violent crime.
“I think we’re going to be in a lot better shape. I think our capacity, that’s what this is about, I think we’re going to be a smarter police department. I think we’re going to be organized better and I think we’re going to be able to have a greater impact on both our violent and our property crime,” Chief Drain added. “This is a big deal for us and our community and I think it’s going to pay big dividends.”
Tanya Pierce, First Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said Amarillo was an easy choice for the program because it already has strong partnerships between law enforcement on the local, state, and national levels.
“We can basically build onto that by using the PSP program to do it, but I think that Amarillo is a smarter and better place already because of it,” Pierce said. “Y’all should be very appreciative of your police leadership for having the foresight to do that, to want to make this a better and safer community, and I know, speaking on the federal side, we’re behind you 100%.”
Chief Drain said through the PSP program, APD will also have peer training opportunities, so they can visit and learn from cities which are already succeeding in curbing violent crime.
He said APD’s participation can help bring down the violent crime rate when it comes to crimes like robberies, as proactively patrolling can help.