In the mid-1990's, the Clearwater Police Department Honor Guard
was formed as a fifteen-officer unit designated as an official
memorial/specialty squad of the 259-officer agency. The Honor
Guard has since grown to an authorized complement of 21 officers.
These volunteers - even prior to the Unit's formal formation -
have committed themselves to be an integral part of the departmentís
support mechanism for the families of officers killed or injured
in the line of duty.
The Honor Guard has worked with diligence and professionalism
to bring to the publicís attention the human side of policing,
including the abject pain and sense of loss that is an inevitable
part of the public safety profession. Since 1995, members of the
Clearwater Honor Guard have attended scores of funeral and memorial
services throughout the state of Florida and adjoining states.
The Honor Guard Unit members can be assigned to a number of intra-unit
teams with varying responsibilities:
The Color Guard: A six-officer complement
whose center-marching members serve as bearers of the Stars and
Stripes and all secondary flags; two rifle-bearing members flank
Flag Detail/Casket Watch Team: Seven members
(six officers addressing the American flag and a team leader)
designated to fold the flag at the interment ceremony. The team
leader is charged with handing-off the folded flag to the Chief
of Police (or designee) for presentation to the family. The Casket
Watch Team alternates in complements of two; the on-duty team
is stationed with one member at each end of the casket during
Bagpiper: A single-member assignment, the bagpiper plays
various songs appropriate for the attended ceremony.
Rifle Team: Eight members (seven riflemen and a team
leader), charged with the execution of three-volley 21-gun salutes
during burial ceremonies.
The Pallbearers: When requested by a deceased
officerís family; members of the Honor Guard Team will be designated
to carry the casket.
Other Honor Guard ceremonial events include:
* Police Academy Graduation Ceremonies
* Local Police Conferences
* State and Local Police Memorial Services
* Government Grand Opening Ceremonies
Four Clearwater Police Officers
have given their lives in the line of duty, their names emblazoned
on the National Law Enforcement
Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. Inevitably, the Clearwater
Police Department Honor Guard will again honor fallen members
of the law enforcement community who paid the ultimate sacrifice
in the service and protection of their fellow man.
For additional information, contact Det.