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Police & Fire

Blood drive honors Toledo detective slain in 2007

Event continues until 1 p.m. at Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association hall

  • Dressel18-Randy-Pepitone

    Retired Toledo Police Lt. Randy Pepitone, left, talks with collection specialist Kenneth Szych as he donates blood during the Keith Dressel Memorial Blood Drive.

    THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
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  • Dressel18-larraine-dressel-and-robin-matejewski

    Larraine Dressel, center left, mother of Toledo Police Det. Keith Dressel, talks with Toledo Officer Robin Matejewski, center right, during the Keith Dressel Memorial Blood Drive Friday at the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association

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  • Dressel18-ashely-instone-michelle-sterling-mike-dressel-and-greg-scymanski

    Collections specialist Ashley Instone, left, Toledo Police officer Michelle Sterling, center right, and Mike Dressel, right, talk with Toledo Officer Greg Scymanski as he gets set to donate blood during the Keith Dressel Memorial Blood Drive Friday at the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association.

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A blood drive to remember the Toledo police detective killed a decade ago collected dozens of pints Friday.

Detective Keith Dressel, a lifelong blood donor, was again remembered with the memorial event. The annual gathering took place over several hours at the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association union hall. This was its sixth year.

American Red Cross officials said this drive collected 36 pints, saving up to 108 lives. The donations come as the group is experiencing a severe winter blood shortage.

PHOTO GALLERY: Keith Dressel Memorial Blood Drive

Detective Dressel, 35, was killed Feb. 21, 2007. He was working in the vice unit when he was shot while in the 1400 block of North Ontario Street.

His mother, Larraine Dressel, 68, said each February remains difficult for the family. She wore a shirt that read, “Saving a life, in loving memory of Detective Keith Dressel.”

Mrs. Dressel and her husband, Mike, both of Ottawa Lake, Mich., said they are grateful each year for the response. She described her son as a giving person.

Events like this one can show the public that police, too, lead regular lives and work to help others, she said.

“They're just like everybody else, you know? They're good people, really,” she said.

Mr. Dressel, 71, said he is comforted by the “family in blue” and the wide impact his son had.

Among those who gave blood Friday was Officer Michelle Sterling. She tries to do so each year for her slain friend, and plans to visit Washington to honor Detective Dressel as part of National Police Week.

The blood drive event is one of many for the detective that supports a worthy cause, she said.

“It's a good way to never forget, and I think that's what his family, his wife and children, would love,” she said.

Chief George Kral said residents refuse to let Detective Dressel's memory fade 10 years later. It shows the quality of those in the city, he said.

“Even in his death, he's helping out his fellow Toledoans,” he said. “It makes my heart warm when I see the amount of people coming out to support Keith,” Chief Kral said.

Contact Ryan Dunn at: rdunn@theblade.com, 419-724-6095, or on Twitter @rdunnblade.

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