Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office holds blood drive for deputy

Emily Branan and Kaelyn Charbonnet

After a Jefferson Parish deputy was shot while serving a warrant, the community came together to help take care of someone who normally protects them.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office organized a blood drive for him at two locations in Harvey after Deputy Stephen Arnold was shot five times on Jan. 26.

The blood drive began the afternoon of Jan. 26 and was open until about 6:30 p.m. It opened again Jan. 27 at 8 a.m. and will be open until 2 p.m. Blood Mobiles are set up at the Jefferson Parish Investigative Bureau at 725 Maple Ave. and at the Sheriff’s Office at 1233 Westbank Expressway, both in Harvey.

Other Blood Centers are taking donations for Arnold as well, but these two mobile sites are the only ones specifically receiving blood for the deputy.

Teddy Holmes, area representative for The Blood Center, said 73 people came by to donate on Jan. 26, and they were expecting more to come by on the second day of the drive, Jan. 27.

“Unfortunately, we’re not the first thing people think of when something like this happens, and we should be,” Holmes said.

The Blood Center said Arnold’s blood type is unknown, but they are accepting all donations because any blood given will help.

Holmes said The Blood Center received a call on Jan. 26 to hold a blood drive for Arnold, who was shot four times in the body and once in the neck while serving a warrant to a man in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Holmes said Arnold was in critical condition at the University Medical Center and in need of as much blood as possible.

“This is an opportunity for us to give back to someone in need and it doesn’t cost us a dime, so we’re asking that you please help,” Holmes said.

Holmes said they try to hold blood drives for injured officers “as often as they can.”

Melvin Zeno, pastor of St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church, said he is donating blood to Arnold because he wants to help.

“We received the request to donate blood and of course our heart is to always be of help, that’s what the church is all about,” Zeno said.

Zeno, who is also a retired district judge, said this drive means a lot to him because of the impact he’s seen the deputies have on this community.

“I was a judge for 16 years and I got to know a lot of the deputies and know the work they do for our community, in terms of trying to keep our community safe and we just want to do our part,” Zeno said.

Zeno said he believes there has been such a large turnout because the community wants to show their support.

“We are aware that there are issues and so forth between community and law enforcement, but we are also aware that there are many, many deputies who, every day, get up and put their clothes on and go out to do their job to keep us safe and our families and so we want to support that,” Zeno said.

Holmes said The Blood Center is the source of blood for the whole New Orleans area, and they welcome donations any time.

“Blood is needed on a consistent basis,” Holmes said.



This story was updated on Jan. 28 to add more information.