By Brooke Shafer

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Broward County Sheriff’s Office held a blood drive outside their headquarters on Wednesday to help those affected by COVID-19.

Some members of the sheriff’s office donated blood as well. For BSO, donations like this are personal. In the last six months, the Broward Sheriff’s Office has had more than 500 employees test positive for the coronavirus. Five employees have died.

“We’re not immune to this,” said Sheriff Gregory Tony. “Unfortunately, I’ve lost five individuals who have served this community for a long time.”

On Friday, BSO announced the death of Pamela Ford. The Community Programs Supervision Specialist died three weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus on August 12th.

“COVID-19 has hit so many of our residents and here within our organization,” said Tony.

BSO teamed up with One Blood for the blood and plasma donation drive. Nationally, there is a call for people who have recovered from the coronavirus to donate convalescent plasma, which is a possible treatment for those currently battling the virus.

But, One Blood said, blood is also needed. In March, the organization announced it had more than 1,900 blood drive cancellations through the month of May. The group said that would have accounted for more than 30,000 blood donations.

“The entire community has been devastated in some shape, form, or fashion in terms of COVID-19,” said Tony.