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APD Officer & Family Host Community Fundraisers

Friday's Hero: Officer Vicente Martinez. Good Samaritans: Irene Martinez, Lisa Martinez and Betty Solis.

July 29, 2016

Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Officer Vicente Martinez, his mother Irene Martinez, wife Lisa Martinez, and Mother-in-law Betty Solis for going above and beyond to help community members who are experiencing difficult times.

Prior to joining APD in 2009, Officer Martinez worked in the food industry and quickly became well known for his famously delicious Frito Pies. Since joining the department, Officer Martinez decided to put his culinary skills to good use by hosting Frito Pie fundraisers. When there is a dispatcher or an officer that has lost a loved one and needs help paying funeral expenses or they or their children are suffering from an illness such as cancer Officer Martinez and his family jump into action to start cooking.

Over the last two years the family has hosted six fundraisers and raised over $20,000 for many different causes. The two most recent fundraisers held were for Shiprock’s 11 year old Ashlynne Mike who was tragically killed in May and then a joint fundraiser held on July 15th to support both the families of the fallen Dallas police officers and an APD dispatcher who has terminal cancer. Both fundraisers proved to be extremely successful by raising $1,500 in May and over $6,000 in July and by serving visitors from as far away as Virginia and New York who were passing through and wanted to contribute. 

While Officer Martinez began the tradition with his unbeatable Frito Pies, it quickly became a full family effort. Most of the time before the Frio Pie fundraisers even begin, the family starts prepping and cooking at 2 o’clock in the morning. Irene Martinez makes specialized donation boxes for each fundraiser, in May the box was in the shape of a donut painted yellow to represent Ashlynne Mike’s favorite color and the July box designed to look like a Dallas Police Department badge.

The family’s passion to bring the community together and to support one another during tough times is what sets them apart and makes them incredible community advocates. It is for these reasons and actions that the City of Albuquerque is proud to recognize Officer Vicente Martinez as this week’s Friday’s Hero and Irene Martinez, Lisa Martinez and Betty Solis as City of Albuquerque Good Samaritans.