DPD Blood drive

Delano Police Department Cpl. Jose Madrigal takes a pictures of his arm during his blood donation on June 18 at the department headquarters.

Delano Police Department saved more than 100 lives by collecting 37 units of blood during the June 18 blood drive at the agency's headquarters.

This blood drive is just another way to give back to the community, said Delano Police Department Community Service Officer Rafael Silva, who organized the event.

"This blood drive is essential, because as you may know that during this pandemic, the supply of blood has dropped due to the stay at-home orders," Silva said. "We had 10 officers from our department donate blood on Thursday."

Silva added that together with Houchin Blood Bank, 44 donors were registered, seven donors were deferred and 10 first-time donors were also registered. One donation can save up to three lives.

"The Delano Police Department in essence saved 111 lives," Silva said. "So I want to thank the community members who made this possible."

Delano Police returned to live crime prevention and community outreach events back on June 4 with its second annual Cafe Con Campesinos.

"During this event, we met with farmworkers and thanked them for the essential work they do under the harshest of conditions that puts food on our tables," Police Chief Robert Nevarez said. "Officer after officer told their personal story of being the child of a farm laborer for the purpose of demonstrating that not only are we are like them; we are actually from them."

The ultimate goal was to relearn how to trust.

Other upcoming events the agency has planned include a food drive at the police station in mid-July.

"And as the weather starts to heat up, we will also have a Snowcone with a Cop event in July," Silva said.

Then comes the annual National Night Out the first Tuesday in August.

Nevarez said there are still plans to have a block party like the ones officers put on last year. The chief said the department is still "far behind our 2020 goals (because of COVID-19)."

The department received a $10,000 grant from Wonderful, he said, to pay specifically for community outreach and crime prevention efforts.

"All this is specifically designed to build trust, and keep our youth from a dark path," Nevarez added. "And it will make our jobs much easier."

After in-person bingo and loteria games with police officers, the department plans to do virtual games at the Delano Skilled Nursing Facility and at the Filipino Community Center, Silva said.

Other events that are in the planning stages include Choppin' It Up, Playing in Peace with Delano youth, a meet and greet with the police chief and summer youth camps.

"If a child doesn't have positive role models, they can't do it the right way," Nevarez said. "It is a way of us paying it forward."

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