Joe Wyatt
Published December 13, 2017

Stephanie Birkenfeld, who launched her career as a student in the Law Enforcement Academy at Amarillo College and joined the AC Police Department in 2013, has been named AC’s chief of police, effective Jan. 1, 2018, replacing Steve Chance, who will retire at the end of this year.

BirkenfeldinBirkenfeld will be the first woman to serve as chief of police at Amarillo College.


“Chief Chance did an outstanding job for the College and we are grateful for his service,” said Lyndy Forrester, vice president of employee and organizational development. “But we count ourselves fortunate to have someone who can step in like Stefanie, a skilled professional who has such a passion for the safety and security of our students.


“I know that she will take us to yet another level of law enforcement success.”


Birkenfeld brings a total of 11 years of career experience to her new post, 8 as a Texas peace officer. She previously served with the Amarillo Airport Police Department (2012-2013) and the Potter County Sherriff’s Office (2006-2012), where she ascended from dispatcher to deputy.


She has received commendations from every law enforcement agency at which she has been employed, including the department at AC.


A salutatorian in 2009 for the 99th Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy, Birkenfeld has since added a pair of Amarillo College associate degrees to her résumé: an A.A.S. in criminal justice in 2016, and an A.S. in criminal justice in 2017 – which she will officially acquire on Friday, Dec. 17 during the College’s Fall Commencement at the Amarillo Civic Center.


“I’m honored and humbled by the faith Amarillo College is placing in me,” Birkenfeld said. “I look forward to implementing what I believe will be some very innovative ideas and policies to help promote the College’s important mission, values and culture of caring.”