Amigos en Azul, or "Friends in Blue," was founded in 1982 to better bridge the gap between the Hispanic community and the Austin Police Department. In the first year, a goal was set by the board of directors to award a $200 scholarship to an Austin area high school senior. Since then, the organization has grown to over 400 members working together to address the needs of the Austin community and has awarded over $60,000 in scholarships.
Currently, Amigos en Azul is awarding eight $1000 scholarships in the name of Ralph Ablanedo, Clinton Hunter, Merced Torres, Jr., Ramiro Olvera, Jr., Robert T. Martinez, Jr., and Drew Bolin, all of whom died while full time employees with the Austin Police Department. Amigos en Azul hosts one annual fundraiser, a golf tournament.
Amigos en Azul is an organization “Dedicated to the Community”. The organization has approximately 445 members with the majority being police officers.
Every year Amigos en Azul:
- Award scholarships to area high school students
- Encourage recruitment of youth into law enforcement careers and provide a progressive image with which they can identify
- Stimulate by word and deed a more positive identification with law enforcement on behalf of the entire Austin community
- Improve the lines of communication between Spanish-speaking people in the community and law enforcement.
- Involved in the established police-community relation programs with the Austin community in adherence to Austin Police Department policies.
- Volunteer in the community conducting outreach programs and crime prevention
During Christmas time Amigos en Azul mobilized and provide a day for young elementary students to shop with a Police Officer for Christmas gifts. Amigos en Azul and officers from throughout the department take approximately 50 students to a store to Shop with a Police Officer (Cop).
Amigos en Azul also services many other organizations in the community and members of the Hispanic community through donation requests.
For more information about Amigos en Azul, visit www.amigosenazul.com