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Hero 24/7: Dedication in Arlington County

(Photo: ABC7)
(Photo: ABC7)
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In his dedication to the community, Aaron Codispoti switches gears constantly -- in the truest sense of the word.

He manages a team of more than a thousand people within the State Department, volunteers as an auxiliary police officer with Arlington County -- often on bike patrol -- and organizes blood drives twice a year.

Codispoti says it all stems from a deep desire to help out.

"You don't really see a lot of police on the trails that often, so I think the community enjoys seeing that," he said.

As an auxiliary police officer with Arlington County, Codispoti works at least 180 hours a year, all unpaid.

"The community doesn't have the money to provide for the regular police officers to pay them for overtime so they have us substitute in," he said.

Codispoti pitches in on both weekdays and weekends, assisting on patrols as well as special events like the Marine Corps Marathon and the Fourth of July.

While on the road, Codispoti answers to whatever pops over the radio.

In his day job though -- he calls the shots, managing 1300 Uniformed Protection Officers as director of Domestic Facitilies Protection for the Diplomatic Security Service, the law enforcement branch of the State Department.

"Our job is saving lives," he said. "Our whole mission is to save lives. We do it here domestically, we do it there overseas."

Codispoti's career has taken him all over the world -- including stints in Pakistan, Bolivia, Gabon, and Spain.

He now heads the office responsible for protecting more than 150 State Department facilities.

But his work doesn't stop there -- we joined Codispoti as he organized his seventh blood drive at the DSS building in Rosslyn.

"I think we've saved over 700 lives by doing this all the other times," he said.

Codispoti works with Inova Blood Donor Services to help bring in donations during low donor months -- with all the blood staying local, minus national emergencies.

The effort was recognized with Inova's Presidential Award.

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"The way it was put to us - we came in not knowing what to expect, and you guys keep on breaking the glass and going further," Codispoti said. "As long as we keep doing that, we'll never find our limit. Hopefully, I keep on getting new people."

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