Honor Guard

Easthampton Massachusetts Police
32 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027
Emergencies: Call 9-1-1
(413) 527-1212 Non-Emergency

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Easthampton Police Department Honor Guard

The Easthampton Police Department’s Honor Guard is a ceremonial unit currently comprised of six sworn officers.  The unit is dedicated to the professional representation of the Easthampton Police Department as well as the City of Easthampton.  

The purpose of our Honor Guard is to present a professional appearance while publicly displaying the colors, or flags, of the United States, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Easthampton Police Department.  

2014 parade for mayorThe officers currently assigned to our Honor Guard are:

  • Officer Rick Rogalski
  • Officer Alan Schadel
  • Officer Robert Pouska
  • Detective Dennis Scribner
  • Officer Chad Alexander
  • Officer Eric Alexander

The Honor Guard uniform consists of a cloth dress cover, a Navy Blue dress blazer with silver buttons (gold for detectives/sergeants) and Easthampton Police Department shoulder patches, a French Blue uniform shirt with black tie, Navy Blue dress uniform pants with French Blue piping (gold for detectives/sergeants), black polished boots and white gloves.  On the left sleeve of each officer’s dress blazer are hash marks that designate years of service with the department.  Each hash mark designates three years of service.

On their left shoulder, officers wear a royal blue aiguillette (gold for detectives/sergeants).  An aiguillette is an ornamental braid with cords and a metal tip that hangs from the shoulder of a dress uniform jacket.  Additionally, officers wear a clarino duty belt with cross strap along with a holster, a handcuff case and a magazine holder.  

Historically, our Honor Guard has appeared in parades, ceremonies, funerals, municipal functions and sporting events.   While participating in ceremonial events or marching in parades, our Honor Guard contingent generally consists of five officers.  These officers display the flag of the United States of America, the flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the flag of the Easthampton Police Department, while two riflemen flank each side with the department’s AR-15 patrol rifles.  On occasion, the Honor Guard may appear with fewer than five officers if necessary.  

The Easthampton Police Department also has a funeral protocol in place for the passing of a former officer.  As honorary bearers, the Honor Guard officers will post at the casket and the funeral home entrance.  The Honor Guard will also post at the cemetery during burial.  

Below is a photograph of the Honor Guard representing the Easthampton Police Department and the City of Easthampton at the 2015 Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade.

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History of the Honor Guard

The Honor Guard is sometimes referred to as a Color Guard.  While both may similar in appearance, and while some of the duties they perform are similar, their purpose may be different.  Colors, or flags, are often carried by both, but the primary purpose of the Color Guard is to present the national colors at a presentation or ceremony.  The Honor Guard may present the colors as well, but their main purpose is to present a contingent to bear honors at ceremonies or funerals.

The police department’s first Honor Guard was initiated in 1999, as the department prepared to move from its old headquarters at 43 Main Street to the newly-constructed police and fire complex located at 32 Payson Avenue.  At that time, department staff identified the need to have an Honor Guard to move the colors in a ceremonial fashion.  Under the guidance of Northampton Police Officer Jim Kandrotas (Ret.), several officers trained for the Honor Guard at the Florence Armory and in the cell block of the old police headquarters.  

On the day the police and fire departments moved to the new public safety complex in 1999, the Easthampton Police Department formed up in front of the old headquarters while the Honor Guard lowered the American flag, folded it, and carried it to the new public safety complex.  The contingent marched to the old fire headquarters on Union Street, then proceeded to the safety complex on Payson Avenue where the American flag was raised out front.  The flag was then flown for a brief period before it was retired and replaced.

The original Easthampton Police Honor Guard consisted of:

  • Sergeant Bruce McMahon
  • Officer William Mielke
  • Officer Rick Rogalski
  • Officer Alan Schadel
  • Officer Robert Pouska
  • Officer Robert Alberti

The original unit wore ascots, which are broad neck scarves that loop under the chin, and carried Springfield 1903 rifles provided by the American Legion.  

Below is a photograph of the original Easthampton Police Honor Guard.

Original Honor Guard Resized

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