AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to Sgt. Carla Burr, APD public information office the department requires multiple hours of diversity training from their officers. While officers are in the police academy a few of the mandatory training classes include racial profiling, human trafficking and interaction with deaf and hearing impaired.
“Our department wants to be, have a cultural of ethical policing and so we want to make sure that it’s not just mandatory training but that everybody believes this is how we want to police our community,” Burr said. “So, we keep it in everything that we do. We go by our six core values and it’s just something that is just part of the culture of our department.”
Burr talked about the training and how that looks for officers when they are out patrolling.
“After graduation they go out in FTO, and they have a senior officer with them. That has been through all the training, that has been an officer on patrol, that is already in the ethical policing culture that we have,” Burr said. “And so, they have somebody there to help guide them through those situations where they may not be familiar with. Because maybe they livid a sheltered life, maybe they came from a small town where there wasn’t a lot of diversity in that town. Whatever the reason.”
She added that the entire department wants to push out the same message from the chief on down. The message they want to push out is that the department serves everyone in the community regardless of race, economic status, or the role they play in the community.
“We realize with our community, within the city limits of Amarillo only has one choice, in the Amarillo Police Department for police services. So, we want them to know we are here to serve or entire community,” Burr said. “We do that with ethical policing in our culture and also in addition to the training that we get we have a citizens advisory committee for our training.”
The department offers two advisory committees that meet quarterly. The first is the Travel advisory committee which brings together citizens of the community and APD training staff. The community will be able to look over current training requirements and see if any improvements could be made.
The second committee is the Chief’s advisory committee, which allows citizens to talk with staff from APD about procedures, policies and concerns they have.
Diversity Classes required in the police academy:
- Multiculturalism and Human relations-10 hour class
- Racial profiling-4 hours
- Sexual assault and family violence -14 hours
- Victims of crime-11 hours
- Human trafficking- 7 hours
- Civilian interaction on traffic stops- 3 hours
- Interaction with deaf and hearing impaired-4 hours
- Deescalation-8 hours
- Verbal communications-18 hours
- Crisis intervention-40 hours
- Canine encounters-4 hours
Classes for every APD officer every two years:
- Implicit bias- 3 hours
- Procedural justice- 4 hours
The department also requires 8 hours of cultural diversity training before an officer can receive their intermediate peace officer license.