Texas High Plains Panhandle Police Chiefs Association
Texas High Plains Panhandle Police Chiefs Association

   High Plains Police Chiefs Association
​  Covers 26 counties in the Panhandle of Texas

High Plains Police Chiefs Association Board Members

Martin Birkenfeld, President

Chief Martin Birkenfeld has been in Amarillo his entire life and has been an officer at the Amarillo Police Department since November of 1990. Prior to working at the department, he spent three years at the Potter County Sheriff’s Office.

During his law enforcement career, Chief Birkenfeld has worked as a jailor, a patrol officer, a motorcycle officer, and a hostage negotiator. Over the last twenty-three years, he has served in supervisory and command positions including patrol, records, criminal investigation, and administration. Chief Birkenfeld has a Master Peace Officer License and is a certified instructor through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Chief Birkenfeld earned a master’s degree in Security Studies from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security - Naval Postgraduate School. He also has master’s degree in Business Administration from West Texas A+M University. He is a graduate of the 266th session of the FBI National Academy.

Chief Birkenfeld has been a member of the Rotary Club of Amarillo since 2015. He is on the executive board for Amarillo Area CASA. He is also on the Potter-Randall Emergency Management Advisory Committee, the board of governors for Northwest Texas Healthcare System, and the board of managers for the Potter-Randall 911 Emergency Communications District.

Chief Birkenfeld has been married to Heather for 11 years. Together they enjoy various entrepreneurial projects, travel, and raising small animals. They have three sons and two grandchildren.

Steve Brush, 1st Vice President

Chief Steve Brush was born in Hereford, Texas where he lived until graduating High School. Chief Brush served in the United States Marine Corps from 1984 to 1989. Upon his discharge, Chief Brush joined the Amarillo Police Department where he served for 26 years.

In 2016 Chief Brush was appointed as the Chief of Police at the Tulia Police Department. In April 2020, he was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Canyon.

Chief Brush has an Associate Degree from Amarillo College and a Bachelor Degree from Wayland Baptist University. He has a Master Peace Officer Certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and is a licensed instructor.

Chief Brush has worked in patrol, investigative and supervisory capacities during his law enforcement career. He has also had collateral duties as a Field Training Officer, Academy Instructor and Crisis Negotiator.

Chief Brush serves on the Board of Managers for the Potter-Randall 911 District. He is a member of the Texas Police Chiefs Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police

Sace Hardeman, 2nd Vice President

 Sace Hardeman was born in Amarillo and raised in Panhandle. He joined the United States Air force and was stationed in South Dakota. After he was Honorably discharged, he moved to Sturgis, SD. and started my Law Enforcement career. He was a motor officer in Sturgis and then was promoted to Asst. Chief of Police.  In 2005 he decided to come back home and went to work for the Panhandle Police Dept. In 2007 he became the Chief of Police at Panhandle PD. He serves as President of the Blue Knights Texas X chapter and a Past Master of Carson Masonic Lodge.  In his off time, he enjoys spending time with my wife, kids and grandkids. He still enjoys riding motorcycles. 

Shawn Burns, Secretary/Treasurer

Shawn is a lifelong Texas Panhandle resident, born in Floydada, Texas. He began his career with West Texas A&M University in 1995 as an officer and steadily progressed to the rank of Lieutenant in 2001. His friend, mentor, and Chief, Eddie Wilson, lost his battle with ALS in October 2002 and Shawn was named interim chief. In August 2003, after a national search, Shawn was selected as the Chief of Police for West Texas A&M University Police. Shawn served as an officer in the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators (TACUPA) for 7 years (2004-2011) and during that time was the TACUPA representative to the TPCA Board (2010-2011). Shawn also led the Texas A&M System Council of Law Enforcement Administrators as their chairman for six years. Shawn is active in the High Plains Police Chiefs Association, where he is also a past president. Shawn served as the Region 2 Director for the Texas Police Chiefs Association from 2017-2021.

He is a certified TCOLE instructor, Firearms Instructor, NRA Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun Instructor, Live-Fire Shoothouse Instructor, Taser Instructor, Low-light CQB Instructor, ALERRT and CRASE Instructor. He is also an armorer for Smith & Wesson, Kimber, and AR-15s. He is an Advanced Armorer for Glock safe action semi-automatic pistols.

His education accomplishments include:

· Graduate of West Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science

· Graduate from Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy in Amarillo, Texas

· Graduate of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Command College (LCC 32nd)

· Graduate of the IACLEA Executive Development Institute

In his spare time, Shawn spends most of his time coaching, supporting, and watching his two children in their athletic and academic endeavors. He also likes to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his brothers/sisters in the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, which he led as president for 6 years before stepping down in 2012.