AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Police Department and Austin ISD joined forces with more than 30 organizations to bring local resources to the community on Saturday at the Health and Wellness Resources Fair.
"Today is an opportunity for parents and students to come and meet all kinds of organizations that are here that care about their wellbeing," Austin ISD trustee Ofelia Zapata said. "We do not want to hear more tragedies in our schools. We want parents and students to know that they are not alone that we have a lot of resources to help, and we are all here to help them. "
33 organizations set up at the fair, serving as a one-stop shop at Travis High School, for APD's Riverside Togetherness Project.
"This is what we call community policing," said Zapata. "We want students and families to know that the officers are here for safety and to help us feel safe, they are not out to get us, and so we want that relationship with families, because there have been some bad experiences."
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"It's a great partnership," said APD Assistant Chief Gizette Gaslin. "We continuously do something like this with the community. The community is Austin, Austin is the community, and in order to reach out to the community, I think this is a very helpful fair."
Dozens of students and parents came out Saturday afternoon to meet members of the community and learn about the organizations.
"We have a lot of health services here," Zapata said. "We also have the Austin Parks Foundation. We want to rebuild restore and reclaim our parks so that families go outdoors and enjoy the parks again."
Free food, free vaccines and job opportunities were available to those in attendance.
"Like everybody else, we are hiring," Gaslin said. "We have our recruiters here for sworn officers, we also have our Communications Division looking for 911 call takers and dispatchers, and we also have our victims service division, and we are always hiring."
"There are so many free resources that whatever you are looking for we hope that you would be able to find it here," Zapata said. "And if you don't, you let me know, and I will find it." Zapata said.
The district does plan to hold another fair at Mendez Middle School in October.