ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A fallen Rockford Police Officer was honored on “National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.”
Officer Jaimie Cox was a frequent blood donor, so to honor him, the American Red Cross is hosting a “Bleed Blue Blood Drive.” A local foundation partners with the Red Cross to help with the national blood shortage, along with honoring fallen Rockford Officer Cox.
Caitlin Cox, Jaimie’s wife, said that donating blood was important to him, and that this “Bleed Blue Blood Drive” is something to help keep her husband’s memory alive while helping people in need.
“The Bleed Blue Blood Drive in honor of husband Jaimie Cox,” Cox said. “It’s National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, it’s just a way to give back to the community and to raise awareness about donating blood and how much it can save lives.”
Cox has been donating blood for over three years to honor her late husband, who was killed in the line of duty in 2017. The community had a chance to pay tribute to him as well on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
“To him, it was an easy way to make a difference and help save lives and do his part, and he just felt very strongly about doing whatever he could to help the community,” Cox said.
American Red Cross Account Manager Janat Jarvis said that there is a blood shortage for both emergencies and elective surgeries.
“The blood supply is down because we don’t have enough donors,” Jarvis said. “We have more technology in the medical field is using more blood products.”
Bleed Blue Blood Drive organizers hoped to get 100 units of blood, but Jarvis said that it looks like they will surpass that goal.
“I see what these men and women do everyday, and put their lives on the line, and, so, if we can give back by donating blood and saving more lives, it really does make a difference,” Jarvis said.
According to the Red Cross, a single blood donation can save up to three lives. That is something that Cox said her husband would be proud to see.
“It’s very humbling and very amazing to see people come out to, not only honor and remember him, but to also bring such a group together to continue his legacy in helping others,” Cox said.
The Jaimie Cox Foundation is working on making the blood drive an annual event, but residents can of course donate at any time. Information on donation locations can be found on the American Red Cross’ website.