119 – Honor Guard
This policy establishes directives for the Honor Guard.
To honor departed members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and other law enforcement agencies, the HCSO will maintain a volunteer group of employees dedicated to fulfilling this duty.
The Sheriff, or his or her designee, will appoint a commander who is responsible for the finances, expenditures, and oversight of the Honor Guard in accordance with the Department Manual.
B. Selection and Training
The commander is responsible for the selection, training, deployment, and fitness of Honor Guard members. He or she may appoint assistant commanders as needed.
C. Participation and Compensation
Honor Guard functions are mandatory assignments. Members must participate, and supervisors of every bureau and division must accommodate participation.
1. Honor Guard members will be released from regular duty and placed on special assignment for training and participation in Honor Guard functions.
2. In the event of competing priorities for employee resources within a division, the chain of command will resolve priorities.
3. Honor Guard members called to participate at an Honor Guard function during their personal time off will receive unpaid compensatory time.
D. Honor Guard Deployment
1. The on-duty Communications Division supervisor must immediately notify the Honor Guard commander upon learning of a duty-related death of any peace officer within a 500-mile radius of Harris County.
2. The commander must contact the deceased officer’s agency and determine to what extent the Honor Guard is requested to participate. The commander will relay this information to assistant commanders for personnel selection and notification.
3. The commander will 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 must 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.
4. The Honor Guard may conduct all-call or single-squad deployment as appropriate.
a. An all-call deployment will be made for:
i. Any HCSO employee killed in the line of duty;
ii. Line of duty deaths for personnel from other agencies, in or outside of Harris County, when requested by those agencies to handle the majority of the ceremony;
iii. Dignitaries as determined by proper authority;
iv. Harris County Peace Officers Memorial Day;
v. State of Texas Peace Officers Memorial Day, Austin, Texas;
vi. National Peace Officers Memorial Day, Washington, D.C.; and
vii. Participation in other ceremonies as determined by proper authority.
b. A single-squad deployment will be made for:
i. A non-duty related death of an active HCSO employee;
ii. A non-duty related death for personnel of another agency, when requested by that agency;
iii. Line of duty deaths outside of Harris County when the Honor Guard is not expected to handle the majority of the ceremony,
iv. Elected or appointed officials whose death was non-duty related, and
v. Any functions as requested by the Sheriff or his or her designee.
This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:
April 21, 2009
August 26, 2021