MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry law enforcement and The Blood Connection are teaming up to fight the local and nationwide blood shortage.

This comes at the end of Law Enforcement Appreciation Week and experts say it’s a chance to raise awareness for issues affecting millions.

“We’re just so blessed by our community that we get so much attention and love year round but especially this week,” says Captain Pat Carter with the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

It’s an effort to collect blood while backing the blue during law enforcement appreciation week.

“You know hospitals having issues and having to put off surgeries because of not having the blood supply for it so luckily I haven’t been personally affected by it but I know, I’ve heard of friends and people that have had delays for that,” says Carter.

A reduced supply of blood locally and nationwide continues to impact not only the community but also law enforcement and officers when blood is needed.

“There are incidents where officers get hurt so we always like that supply up but it’s also just kind of the service, that we get into this profession to serve and so this is a way to give back,” says Carter.

Working to end the ongoing blood shortage during and after COVID-19, a time when blood levels hit their lowest point.

Mercy Myers with Blood Connection says while blood supply levels have improved, there’s still more work to be done. Another issue, the number of donors has decreased since COVID-19 vaccines came out.

“I would say we’re not where we want to be operating comfortably which is that five-to-seven-day supply,” says Myers. “It’s more of a two-to-three-day supply which can then change at a moment’s notice.”

Officials are asking first-time donors to sign up and make an appointment to donate blood and become a ‘life-saving’ regular.

“We need people to be routine blood donors because it’s that blood already on the shelves at the hospitals that will save people’s lives,” says Myers.

The push from health officials and law enforcement to keep the Lowcountry in a place to keep saving lives.

“Be safe on the roads so hopefully this isn’t needed but then also when you have these opportunities try to give so that it can save a life,” says Carter.

The City of Charleston police department also participated in today’s event. If you’d like to donate blood, you can make an appointment at the Blood Connection’s North Charleston location.