Blood drive in Commack honors fallen Suffolk police officer
Suffolk police honored an officer who died in the line of duty by holding blood drive Saturday at the Commack Fire Department.
Fellow police officers, firefighters, friends and strangers answered the call for blood donations at the 12th Annual Officer Glen Ciano Blood Drive.
“It's sad that he has passed away but this is something to do to help other people just as Glen would,” said Danielle Leacock of North Babylon.
Commack Firefighter Rob Weisberg came up with the idea to hold a blood drive to remember Ciano shortly after he was killed by a drunk driver back in 2009.
“This is a reunion basically, it's a very social event, it's not a sad event, it's just another example of the community coming together rallying around to support Glen and his family,” said Weisberg.
The Commack Fire Department has held the event each year since 2010.
“Each and every year we strive to make it better because in Glen's memory, he's still saving lives,” said Pat Fazio, commissioner of the Commack Fire Department.
“He was someone that the officers could look to if they needed guidance of support and this is a great way to keep his memory alive,” added Officer James Garside of the Suffolk Police Department.
According to the New York Blood Center, blood drives like this one are critical because blood donations are down due to the pandemic.
“One pint of blood saves three lives and there's so much need,” said Dionis Xhindolli of the New York Blood Center. “It's something that cannot be produced. It can only be given by humans.”
The Commack Fire Department says 1,735 pints of blood have been donated in Ciano's memory since the drive began in 12 years ago.
Ciano's wife, Susan, tells News 12 it is a fitting tribute to her fallen husband's life of service.
“It's a celebration,” she said. “It's a celebration that he is continually remembered. So it makes very happy and proud. Proud to be his wife. He was wonderful.”