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Blood drive for slain Harford County deputies draws scores of people

Scores of people laid down on the smooth, black-upholstered recliners Monday to give blood in the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and American Red Cross’ blood drive — some to honor two deputies slain in 2016, others just to help those they can.

The event was organized in honor of Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, who were shot and killed in Abingdon on Feb. 10, 2016. Monday blood drive marked the fourth anniversary of their deaths.

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Brenda Galbraith was seated across the room from the recliners, where Red Cross orderlies tied off arms with rubber tubing, instructed recumbent donors to clench their fists and slid the needles into exposed, willing arms. She had come with her 21-year-old daughter — a frequent donor who laid at one of the stations on the other side of the room — and hoped the Red Cross would not turn her away for her blood’s low iron levels. Having known both Dailey and Logsdon personally, she wanted to give blood as a fitting honor to the two.

“It is going to do more to help people,” she said, “and that is what Mark and Pat were about.”

Dozens of people passed through Monday’s blood drive. Many were retired or current law enforcement officers from various agencies, including the Baltimore City Fire Department, Maryland Department of Public Safety and, of course, the Harford County’s Sheriff’s Office.

Some knew the two deputies personally while others came to support law enforcement and give what blood they could.

Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler, who had two busy days in the District of Columbia and Annapolis planned at the start of the week, showed up to donate. He said the blood drive, which Logsdon’s mother Debbie had pushed to organize, was an appropriate way to help others and memorialize two of his deputies.

“I always want to donate blood when I can,” he said before his turn to lie in the chair. “To pair this on the anniversary of losing Pat and Mark ... I thought, ‘what a great thing.’”

“Our community said they won’t forget, and this is them remembering [the deputies],” Gahler said.

Mark Logsdon’s wife, Jennifer, said the drive “[ripped] the band-aid off” some painful memories, but “it is a great way to memorialize him.”

Ryan Long, 26, wanted to donate for Logsdon and his son, Darin, who died in August. Long said he and Darin Logsdon had been friends more than five years before his sudden death. He wanted to memorialize both the father and son and saw the blood drive as a perfect way to.

“He is being honored the best way he can be,” Long said. “A lot of cops die and we give them a service and never hear about them again.”

After her daughter left the recliner, Galbraith stepped up to it. A Red Cross attendant allowed her to donate. She was overjoyed.

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