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Amherst Police host blood drive in honor of officer injured in SWAT standoff

Posted at 1:01 PM, Jul 19, 2018

Dozens of people in Lorain County are donating blood Thursday in honor of a police officer who was injured in the line of duty.

Amherst Patrolman J.R. Ptacek is still in serious condition at MetroHealth Hospital after he was shot during a SWAT standoff situation in early June.

The suspect barricaded himself inside of his home and exchanged gunfire with police.

Since Ptl. Ptacek was admitted to the hospital, he's required several blood transfusions, relying heavily on blood donations sitting on the shelves.

So to replenish the blood supply, the Amherst Police Department teamed up with LifeShare Community Blood Services to host a blood drive.

"He's appreciative of it. He's a humble guy. JR's a humble guy and he doesn't want a lot of attention, he doesn't want a lot of stuff. But he understands support is good," said Lieutenant Dan Makruski of the Amherst Police Department.

None of the blood donated on Thursday will directly benefit Ptl. Ptacek, but the department wanted to raise awareness about blood donation.

"It's the blood on the shelf that makes a difference," said Michael Salisbury of LifeShare, said. "This is just a way of showing support for the Amherst community, in terms of officer Ptacek, and it's also a way of replenishing the blood supply for the next person." 

Members of the Lorain County SWAT team showed up to donate blood.

"It's good for the community to come out and do something positive or someone in need. Not just when it comes to a police officer, but anyone in general," Sgt. Dennis Camarillo, of the Lorain Police Department, said. 

The blood drive is being hosted at Amherst High School until 6 p.m.