Richland County deputies, Columbia Police officers, and Columbia firefighters compete for most blood donor votes in the annual drive

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD), the Columbia Police Department, and the Columbia Fire Department are partnering with the American Red Cross once again in the BATTLE OF THE BADGES BLOOD DRIVE slated this year for Friday, June 28 in northeast Columbia. The 9th-annual blood drive will be held at RCSD’s Region Two headquarters facility on Decker Blvd.

“Giving blood is easy, quick, painless, and necessary,” says Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. “It’s a simple way to serve our communities and quite literally save lives; and the competition between our three agencies, going on now for nearly a decade, is a lot of fun.”

RCSD deputies have been the reigning Midlands-area champions, every year for the previous eight years, edging past both the Columbia Police Department and the Columbia Fire Department in May 2023. In last year’s drive, a total of 58 units of blood were collected from all three departments combined with simultaneous drives held at two separate locations in Columbia.

Participating blood donors will be able to give blood, “which is personally rewarding in itself,” says RCSD Chief Maria Yturria. Donors will also receive t-shirts, RCSD swag, ice cream coupons, Chick-fil-A coupons, and they will enjoy meeting deputy stars of the popular TV series, ON PATROL: LIVE.

The Battle of the Badges Blood Drive will be held Friday, June 28, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. Decker Center (Region 2 substation), 2500 Decker Blvd., Columbia, S.C. 29206

– For more information, contact Master Deputy Allie Salrin at (803) 576-3000 or email [email protected].


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