April 14, 2021

DAYTON, Ohio - The community can support the regional blood supply and salute the memory of a young police officer killed in the line of duty by donating at the 24th annual Officer John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive Tuesday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Centerville Police Department, 155 West Spring Valley Pike.

Everyone who registers to donate will receive the "Stop Waiting, Start Giving" t-shirt. Make an appointment at or call (937) 461-3220.

Officer Kalaman and Washington Township Firefighter Robert O'Toole were struck and killed by a motorist on Jan. 12, 1998 while responding to an accident.  Kalaman's parents John and Paula Kalaman sponsored the first memorial blood drive in 1998 on their son's April 27 birthday.

Since 1998, more than 4,336 units of blood have been donated in his name.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions last year, the Kalamans were absent from the blood drive for the first in its history. They plan to return this year.

"Absolutely we will be there," said John Kalaman.  "It will be pre-packaged food and that's OK. We'll still be there and are just thankful for everyone who comes out and donates. That's why we have it."

John was a dedicated blood donor prior to his son's death. He said it was Paula's inspiration to sponsor a blood drive.

"The first couple of weeks after John was killed, it was just chaos, all the feelings," John recalled. "One day I had the urge to donate blood. Paul didn't want to be alone and came with me. We were sitting there at the blood center and Paula said, 'I wonder what it takes to start a blood drive?' I said, 'You're in the right place.'"

They asked to hold the blood drive on John's birthday but there was a scheduling conflict.  "They contacted that group, and they said, 'We'll just move ours to another day,'" said John. 

It became a celebration of public safety officers that has endured even the COVID-19 pandemic.

"People are still able to go and donate and still do," said John. "Thankfully there are people like that."