The Murrieta Police Department encourages the community to give blood during an upcoming two-day event.
The Seventh Annual Battle of the Badges Red Cross Blood Drive—a friendly competition among Southern California's local police and fire departments—is underway.
Murrietans are invited to do their part from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 17 in the front parking lot of the Police Department at Two Town Square.
"The...Battle of the Badges is an opportunity for you to positively impact our community by competing in a friendly competition between local police and fire departments across southern California," said Murrieta police Sgt. Don Weller, in a news release. "We can have a substantial impact on the availability of blood for accident victims, cancer patients, premature babies and burn patients."
Weller said for this year's campaign, the American Red Cross has set a regional goal of 5,500 donors—compared to 5,178 donations collected in 2012.
The Murrieta Police Department garnered about 35 donations during a one-day drive last year, according to the sergeant.
"(We) had to schedule this year for two days because we actually had people turned away," Weller said.
While the American Red Cross Southern California Blood Services Region must distribute more than 400,000 units of blood each year, only 3 percent of the region's population donates, he said.
Those willing to support the Murrieta Police Department in the competition were asked to make an appointment by clicking here: Redcrossblood.org.
Donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Parents or legal guardians must accompany 16-year-olds wishing to donate. For all donor guidelines, click here.
Members of the public who participate in the Murrieta drive will receive a Battle of the Badges T-shirt and other goodies, Weller said.