Amigos En Azul, Austin Police Department’s Hispanic community outreach program, is preparing for their annual event ‘Shop with a Cop,’ which provides about 50 local Hispanic elementary school students the opportunity to go Christmas shopping with an Austin Police Officer using funds provided by the organization. The students are selected by their schools based on need. The ‘Shop with a Cop’ program, along with others from the organization, have provided an excellent example of minority outreach by APD, bridging the gap to a population that is underserved. When asked about Amigos’ impact on the community, Senior Police Officer Luis Delgado III, Amigos’ President and 19 year member, had this to say:
The noticeable reaction from the community comes from various organizations and community leaders who have taken notice of our endeavors. So much so, that when the State Department questioned community leaders about which organizations were making a positive impact on the Hispanic community, our organization was consistently mentioned.
Amigos En Azul, or Friends in Blue, was founded in 1982 and has grown to include approximately 455 members, mostly Austin Police Officers. In addition to the Shop with a Cop program, Amigos En Azul provides scholarships to local high school students, encourages the consideration of Law Enforcement careers, and participates in numerous APD community outreach programs. Amigos En Azul has provided over $60,000 in scholarships to Hispanic students since the program began. Amigos’ funds are primarily provided by membership dues, the organization’s annual golf tournament, and support from Target, as well as local businesses.
I would like to close by saying that this is a personal endeavor taken up by the board, on their own personal time. We manage, coordinate, execute all our events on our off time. We do this after working our 40 hours in our assignments. But what I have found is that our active board members work not for the accolades or recognition, but to truly make a difference within our community.
– Senior Police Officer Luis Delgado III
While SPO Delgado and the rest of the Amigos En Azul board do not work for recognition, their efforts merit a great deal of respect and appreciation from the citizens of Austin.
This year’s date for Shop with a Cop is December 19th, 2013.
For more information on Amigos En Azul, please visit the Austin Police Department’s Amigos En Azul web page, located here.