119 – Honor Guard

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Purpose

The Harris County Sheriff desires to honor slain and departed members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and other law enforcement agencies. The HCSO Honor Guard is a group of dedicated deputies who voluntarily represent the agency in fulfilling this duty.

Policy

The Sheriff or his or her designee shall appoint an Honor Guard coordinator who shall be responsible for the finances and expenditures of the Honor Guard and other responsibilities as outlined in the Honor Guard operating procedures.

Selection and Training

The coordinator shall be responsible for the selection, training, deployment, and fitness of the Honor Guard members. He or she shall appoint assistant coordinators as required.

Participation and Compensation

Honor Guard assignments are mandatory HCSO functions that require 100% participation by its members and the full cooperation of all bureau and division supervisors.

  1. Honor Guard members shall be released from regular duty and placed on special assignment for training and participation in Honor Guard functions. In the event of competing priorities for personnel resources within a particular division, the chain of command will be used to resolve disputes.
  2. Honor Guard members that are required to participate at an Honor Guard function during their personal time off shall be compensated with non-paid compensatory time.

Honor Guard Deployment

The Communications Division supervisor on duty shall immediately notify the Honor Guard coordinator upon learning of the duty-related death of any peace officer within a 300-mile radius of Harris County.

The coordinator shall contact the deceased officer’s agency and determine to what extent the Honor Guard is requested to participate. The coordinator shall relay this information to the assistant coordinator(s) who shall make personnel selections and notifications.

The coordinator shall contact the Sheriff’s liaison to the Honor Guard and notify him or her of the situation. The Sheriff’s liaison to the Honor Guard shall determine if motorcycle units will be needed to accompany the Honor Guard for a funeral assignment. If motorcycles are needed, the Sheriff’s liaison will coordinate with the Vehicular Crimes Division regarding motorcycle participation.

The Honor Guard will conduct ceremonies in the following circumstances:

All-call deployment

  1. All HCSO sworn personnel killed “In the Line of Duty”;
  2. All HCSO detention officer personnel killed “In the Line of Duty”;
  3. All civilian personnel killed “In the Line of Duty”;
  4. All sworn personnel of other agencies “in Harris County” killed “In the Line of Duty” when requested to handle the bulk of the ceremony;
  5. Out-of-County “In the Line of Duty” deaths where the respective agency requests the Honor Guard to handle the bulk of their ceremony;
  6. Dignitaries as determined by proper authority;
  7. Harris County Peace Officers Memorial Day;
  8. State of Texas Peace Officers Memorial Day, Austin, Texas;
  9. National Peace Officers Memorial Day, Washington, D.C.; and
  10. Participation in other ceremonies as determined by proper authority.

Single-squad deployment

  1. All active-duty employees that die of a “non-duty related death,”
  2. Other agencies’ certified officers (when requested) that die of a “non-duty related death,”
  3. Out-of-County “In the Line of Duty” deaths when not expected to perform the bulk of the ceremony,
  4. Public officials: Elected or appointed officials whose death was a “non-duty related death,” and
  5. All luncheons and banquets as requested by the Sheriff or his or her designee.

Revision

This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009

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