Paula and John Kalaman with retired Centerville Police Chief Bruce Robertson at 2017 Officer John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive. CONTRIBUTED

Centerville blood drive honors police officer whose career was dedicated to caring for others

Police Officer John P. Kalaman was killed 20 years ago

The legacy of a Centerville police officer, killed in the line of duty 20 years ago, continues to serve the community. 

The 21st annual Officer John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive will take place Friday, April 27 at the Centerville Police Department. 

Centerville Police Officer John Kalaman was killed while on duty Jan. 12, 1998. An annual blood drive is held in his honor each year. CONTRIBUTED

“It’s been 20 years since the accident that created the blood drive, and now it’s the 21st annual blood drive with 4,114 units donated,” said Officer Kalaman’s father, John Kalaman.

“Over the years we’ve seen a lot of the same people and every year we have new donors. Some folks have been with us almost every year.” 

In the early morning hours of Jan. 12, 1998, Centerville Police Officer John Kalaman, 29, and Washington Twp. Firefighter Robert O’Toole, 26, responded to a single-car accident on I-675 at Wilmington Pike along with firefighter Charles Arnold. 

RELATED: Twenty year later: remembering highway accident that killed two first responders

While investigating the scene on the highway, the three men were struck by a car whose driver lost control while speeding on the slick roadway. 

Officer Kalaman, a five-year police department veteran, was killed at the scene. Firefighter O’Toole, who had been with the department for four years, died at Miami Valley Hospital. Arnold, who was seriously injured, survived. 

John Kalaman and his wife Paula held the first blood drive in their son’s memory on April 27, 1998, the date of what would have been his 30th birthday. 

Each year the couple greets the donors and supporters at the blood drive and serves birthday cake in honor of their son. 

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“It’s one of those things where we will reach a point when we can no longer be there,” said John Kalaman. “I hope the blood center will continue the blood drive for the community and for all the people who have donated over the years. It’s all we can hope for.” 

The blood drive will be held Friday in the Centerville Police Department training room, 155 W. Spring Valley Rd., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 293-3373.

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