First Responders Spotlight: Police Union blood drive honors fallen officer, sets record

First Responders Spotlight

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — On December 4, a blood drive run by the Rochester Police Locust Club set the donation bar high for the American Red Cross.

“This year, we were able to collect 61 units,” says Officer David Smith with the Rochester Police Department.

Smith spearheaded the drive — those 61 units could potentially save around 183 lives. The need he says for donations extremely high right now. 

“And that stays in our local area. Blood only keeps for about 42 days after it’s collected,” says Smith.

This blood drive was the sixth annual in honor of fallen RPD officer Daryl Pierson, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on September 3, 2014 while chasing a suspect on Hudson Ave. in the city.

“After talking with the family, the family thought it would be nice to have a drive in memory of Daryl,” says Smith.

Police Union President Mike Mazzeo says this has been a tough year for the RPD. Even with everything going on, he says Smith for six years in a row has pulled through. 

“Listen. He took this on his own. He brought this forward and he’s continued to do it,” says Mazzeo.

The honor to do it, Smith says was his. Part of wearing the badge is going above and beyond. “Being a police officer is a calling. It’s no different than being a doctor or a priest. I wanted to do this since I was 14 years old,” says Smith.

Smith says the goodies from Dunkin, much appreciated, but he says the real credit belongs to the man who helped inspire the blood drive.

“There’s no greater sacrifice than the one that Daryl made, and it’s important that we don’t forget it.” says Smith.

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