85th police academy graduates June 11

Top row, left to right:Craig Cothrin, Kraig Stockstill, Travis Moore, Matthew Brown, Matthew Biernacki, Zachary Matlock, Nicholas Burns; Middle row: Michael Maeker, Cameron Johnson, Amanda Williams, Johnny Hoggatt, Capt. James Burgess; Front row: Sgt. Mike Martinez, Steven Deal, Jacob Roybal, Micah Meurer, Chief Robert Taylor, Chase Dockins, Guy Capra, Zachary Lynn

On June 11, the Amarillo Police Department's 85th Police Academy class graduated. The graduation ceremony was held in the Grand Plaza of the Amarillo Civic Center. City of Amarillo Municipal Court Judge Sonja Letson swore in the 17 new officers.

The officers completed 1,113 hours of police training since beginning the academy on Dec. 5, 2013. In the 27 week academy, the recruit officers were first required to pass the Texas Basic Peace Officer's Certification test. They then started department-specific and more advanced courses. The APD Academy training covers subjects including emergency vehicle operation, report writing, department rules and regulations, criminal, juvenile, and traffic law, search and seizure, criminal investigation, evidence collection, mental health crisis intervention, mechanics of arrest, and self-defense.

These officers will be assigned to Uniform Division and will continue their training under the direct supervision of Field Training Officers for the next four months, rotating through each shift. During field training, they are evaluated on a daily basis. The field training period is used to document training and knowledge of over 900 police tasks. The Amarillo Police Department's authorized strength is 358 sworn officers. The graduation of the 85th Academy brings department strength up to 360.

The 86th Amarillo Police Academy, with 12 recruits, started classes June 5.