By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY —
Frank Denzinger loved serving his community. That is what led him to join the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department.
Responding to a domestic call June 18, 2007, in Georgetown, the 32-year-old Denzinger was shot and killed by a 15-year-old from an upstairs window as he was walking toward the front door of the home. He had been an officer for only four years.
One way to keep his memory alive is through the annual Frank C. Denzinger Memorial Blood Drive. This year’s event is from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, in the Centrum Room at Northside Christian Church, 4407 Charlestown Road, New Albany.
“This is the way he would want it,” said his mother, Pat Denzinger, who is one of the event’s organizers. “The whole purpose is to keep him alive in our minds and to help people.
“We want Frank to be remembered and not forgotten.”
The blood drive is being coordinated through the American Red Cross, but the entire Denzinger family is involved in promoting the event and spreading the word about the importance of donating blood. Pat Denzinger said they changed the time this year to try and draw more people.
“We want to make this as successful as possible. Three years ago, we had a tremendous turnout,” she said. “Some years we have fewer people. The summer is sometimes tough because people are traveling or too busy to give blood. This year, we are hoping for a big turnout.”
Culver’s, Texas Roadhouse and Chick-fil-A will be supplying food at the event. Pat Denzinger said police officers and those who work in law enforcement usually come to donate during the annual blood drive.
Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills said the summer can be a difficult time to get donors, but hopes Tuesday’s blood drive draws a big crowd.
“This is a great way to remember Frank,” he said.
Mills was only six months into his first term when Denzinger was killed. He said it took a few weeks for his department, which consists of 31 officers, to get back on its feet following the incident.
“Our department really took a hard hit. We had a lot of debriefing and group therapy for a couple of weeks. The city and state covered a lot of our calls,” Mills said. “It was very traumatic for his family and our department. But we are a tough group. We had experts come in to talk to us and help us get through it. But we will never forget it.”
He said his department has tried to keep Denzinger’s memory alive by dedicating the police department/jail building in New Albany after him and by holding events like the annual blood drive.
“We have had to move on and that is what Frank would have wanted us to do. But we will never forget,” he said.
Mills and his department will also never forget the outpouring of support from the community in the days, weeks and months after Denzinger’s death.
“It was amazing,” he said. “In law enforcement you are always dealing with the criminal element and you sometimes forget about the good people in the community. They do appreciate you and what you do.
“I can’t thank the community enough for their support.”