The goal of the School Liaison Program is to promote a safe learning environment and build positive relationships between police and students through police presence, communication and educational programs.
The Liaison program was established in the 1979-80 school year at Amarillo High School. At the time, AHS was the largest school and provided the largest student exposure for the program. After the first year, both AISD and the APD considered the program a success. In 1981, Liaison officers were assigned to Caprock, Palo Duro and Tascosa High schools. A Liaison officer was assigned to Randall High School in 1991.
The APD School Liaison Program consists of thirteen officers who are supervised by Sergeant David Hagler. Amarillo, Tascosa, Palo Duro, and Caprock High each have two officers assigned to their campus. The Liaison officers also work in the middle schools in their assigned clusters. Randall High School is assigned one officer. Westover and Greenways schools share an officer.
The officers are required to attend school based law enforcement training which includes: Child & Adolescent Psychology, Mental Health Crisis Intervention, De-escalation Techniques, Mental & Behavioral Needs of Special Needs Students, Restorative Justice Techniques and Positive Behavior Interventions. All officers also attend state mandated: Handle with Care Class, Suicide Prevention Class and ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training).
The officers are assigned to the schools from 8 AM to 4 PM during the school year. They also provide police presence at school sporting events, dances and graduations. In the summer, Liaison officers are reassigned to the police department Uniform Patrol or the Juvenile Offender Unit. During the first two weeks of summer, Liaison officers host the Lisa Cherry Summer Camp for approximately 60 Amarillo children.