Published on September 19, 2016

Blood donations from the long arm of the law

Blood donations from the long arm of the law

Steve Berna in the blood mobile

Steve Berna in the blood mobile

The 62nd recruit officer class of the Plymouth Police Academy was just over a week from graduation, so it seemed like a gift was in order. But in this case, the gift came from the student officers, themselves.

On a sunny September morning, about 20 members of the class came to Hyannis to help others in need by giving blood at a Cape Cod Healthcare blood drive. Some donated at the CCHC bloodmobile, which was parked in front of the Barnstable Police Department, while others donated in the blood room at Cape Cod Hospital.

“Having been in the military, I know the importance of blood donors,” said Anthony D’Angelo of Hyannis, a former member of the Air Force National Guard, who will join the Barnstable Police Department after the class graduates on Sept. 23.

“I’ve always liked helping other people. I give blood as often as I can. It’s a simple way to give back. It’s the least I could do.”

The student officers began their training at the Plymouth Police Academy in April.

Since then, some of them participated in the Run to Remember, a road race that honors fallen law enforcement officers and other first responders, and Blackbeard’s Motorcycle Ride, a tribute to Army Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino of Bourne, who was killed in Afghanistan.

It’s All About Helping People

“We wanted to give back to the Cape Cod community,” said Dan Nugent of Centerville, another future member of the Barnstable Police Department. He’s one of 21 members of the class from Cape Cod.

“When you donate blood, it’s unimaginable, the impact you could have on someone’s life,” he said.

“This profession is all about helping people and this is one great way to do it,” said Katherine Ayers of Plymouth.

“It’s good to give back to the community in any way we can,” said Steve Berna of Kingston. “This is something we can do as a class.”

The student officers showed up for the blood drive wearing navy blue shirts with their logo on the back: “No matter what … we have each other’s back.”

They also were united in their message for first-time donors: Don’t sweat it.

“It’s painless, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and the nurses are always nice,” added Berna.

“The people who work at these events get you very relaxed,” said D’Angelo. “They do a good job of making you feel like you’re doing something important.”

“It’s no big deal. Just a little stick,” said class president Ryan McCracken of Sandwich, an Army veteran who has worked as a security officer at Cape Cod Healthcare. “It’s easy: Keep your eyes on what you’re doing it for.”

For information on upcoming blood drives, visit the Blood Center on the CCHC website or call 508-86BLOOD (508-862-5663).

[Featured Image: Above, Katherine Ayers and Ryan McCracken relax and show off their bandages after donating.]