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Amarillo (Texas) board votes to form school district police force

April 21, 2021
A district police force would resolve some jurisdictional issues that arise because the school system is part of two counties.

The Amarillo (Texas) School Board has voted to establish a school district police department.

The Amarillo Globe-News reports that establishing a department would enable the two staff members of the district’s safety and security office, as well as future officers, to be included in multiple law enforcement jurisdictions, including the city of Amarillo, as well as Potter and Randall counties.

Currently, the two staff members of the district’s safety and security office are commissioned peace officers under the Randall County Sheriff's Office.

The establishment of this department, commissioned under the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, would broaden the jurisdiction for these staff members.

Doug Loomis, the district’s superintendent, stressed that the formation of a police department would not change the district’s school liaison officer program with the Amarillo Police Department, which provides 13 officers on campuses throughout the district.

“The reason we think we need to start thinking about how we start creating our own police department...is to allow these two officers that we currently have (to have) a place to be commissioned,” Loomis says. “Much of the work that they do happens in Potter and Randall counties, because the school district splits two counties."

The board's resolution gives Loomis the authority to submit an application to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. If that application is approved, the school district's department could be put into place as soon as the fall.

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