In April of 2008, the Police Department formed its first Honor Guard unit. The Honor Guard unit was established to serve as official ambassadors of the Police Department for fallen police officer/firefighter funerals, ceremonial presentations and indirectly for recruitment purposes.
Former Chief of Police Edward Delmore called upon an old friend, Darrin DeCoster, of the Fairfax County Va. Police Department to help drill the unit during its formation. DeCoster was a member of the Army Old Guard and also served as a sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. DeCoster instructed the unit on drill moves, hand movement, flag etiquette, rifle and flag presentations, posture and grooming.
Before the first week of instruction was over, Former Chief Delmore arranged for the Honor Guard to present the colors during the National Anthem for the 2008 Cardinal’s baseball opening game. Since that time, the Honor Guard has been requested to present the colors at several events including SWIC Police Academy graduations, the FHPD senior and youth academies, the St. Louis Blues Hockey Team Heroes night, Grace Church Memorial Day celebration, the Guns & Hoses Police vs. Firemen boxing match, the Southern Illinois Police Chief Association & Southern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission annual training seminar. This year they will be participating in the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Springfield, Illinois and St. Clair County and served at the funeral of Lt. Jonas, Centreville Police Officer who was shot and killed on duty.
In September of 2008, the unit attended a week long Honor Guard boot camp hosted by the Goshen, Indiana, Police Honor Guard. The team was actually split into two separate units during the camp. The top team of the academy had the honor of being the Honor Guard for a full mock fireman’s funeral as a graduation exercise on the last day of camp. The teams had to perform a predetermined set of drills inside a designated area. The Fairview Heights Police Honor Guard took first and second place in the drills.
The Honor Guard currently consists of 10 members.