AUSTIN -- A small group of students from Regents School of Austin is giving back to the Austin Police Department.

This week, the 7th, 8th and 9th graders are painting two murals inside the APD Clinton Hunter South Substation off Ralph Ablanedo Drive in southwest Austin.

That means an usually quiet hallway was a flurry of artistic activity on Wednesday.

The students were painting, drawing and asking for advice.

"Can we just end it behind the badge?" was one question.

The Regents School students brought two works of art to life. One is a mix of an Austin and police theme, complete with the Austin police badge and bats. Twelve-year-old Madison Wu created this one.


"It's really cool because I just drew it on a piece of paper and now it's on the wall for a long time," said Wu.

Allison Rodrigues, 14, designed a piece of art that is modeled after the iconic Austin postcard. She said she just wants officers to feel better when they see her mural.

"With the grass and the clouds -- kind of to feel that peace," said Rodrigues.

Instead of joining their friends for the summer, these young artists chose to spend a week inside the police station creating the works of art for the 250 officers and support staff who work out of the substation.

Twelve-year-old Eli Gutierrez told us what her friends do.

"They go to the beach, a lot of them," Gutierrez said.

But none of the students regret what they are doing.

"I wanted to give back to them and appreciate them and let them know we love them," said Gutierrez.

"These kids are using their time off, their vacation, to put a positive influence toward us. I mean, that really gets you in the heart," said APD Commander Jason Dusterhoft.

Officers have also been surprised by the murals themselves.

"We had officers literally stop, like walk by stop, and go, 'Wow! This is now in our substation,'" said Dusterhoft.

The idea is to eventually fill up many of the blank blue walls at the APD South Substation with colorful murals. They just need to get more students interested.

"We sent this out to a bunch of schools. Very surprisingly, we didn't get the feedback we wanted," said Dusterhoft.

But police hope by seeing how successful this inaugural mural program launch is, there will be more mural entries next year.

Austin police said they are always looking for chances to interact with children of any age.