Seattle Police Honor Guard
Seattle Police Honor Guard
The Seattle Police Honor Guard was formed in 1932 and is one of the Nation’s oldest active Honor Guard Units. It is part of a timeless tradition of law enforcement honor guards tasked with ceremonial duties and military-style honors at memorial services and special events.
The Seattle Police Honor Guard exemplifies the City’s profound gratitude to those who have faithfully served the community and the country.
The primary mission of the Seattle Police Honor Guard is to attend all line of duty death (LODD) services in the state of Washington, British Columbia, Northern Oregon, and Western Idaho. In addition to LODDs, the Honor Guard also has an important role at the funerals of retired police officers.
The secondary mission of the Honor Guard is the presentation of the colors at public functions such as the Seattle Police Awards Ceremony and other City events as needed or requested. Several Honor Guard members have also attended events in Washington D.C. for Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, which take place annually in May.
“Their duty was to serve. Our duty is to remember.”
The Seattle Police Foundation has supported the Seattle Police Honor Guard since 2003. At the time, the Honor Guard uniforms were outdated and ready for retirement, at over 30 years old. SPF provided the funding to purchase new ceremonial uniforms for these important ambassadors of the Seattle Police Department. Honor Guard uniforms are distinctive, steeped in honor and reverence for service.
Our support of the Seattle Police Honor Guard has continued over the years. In 2016, SPF provided funds for a 4-person SPD Honor Guard to travel to Dallas, Texas, to represent Seattle at the memorial services for the fallen officers of the Dallas Police Department. In 2021, we launched a Mourning Badge and Lapel Pin Fundraiser, which offered sworn SPD personnel the opportunity to purchase custom Mourning Badges, and gives sworn and civilian personnel the opportunity to purchase lapel pins.
The net proceeds from the Mourning Badge fundraiser supported uniforms, equipment maintenance, and travel expenses for the Seattle Police Department’s Honor Guard.
Read more about Mourning Badges below.
In 2020, SPF launched a fundraising initiative to purchase custom mourning badges for all the officers of SPD.
This initiative came on the heels of a policy change that restricted the use of the removable black mourning bands that officers had historically placed around their badges to honor their fallen.
The mourning band on the police badge is the traditional way for a law enforcement officer to publicly mourn the death of a fellow officer. Mourning bands are an emblem of grief, loss, solidarity, honor, and resilience, and are worn with great respect. The policy change was meant to increase transparency in response to community concerns that the black bands were a way for officers to potentially hide their identity. Because of this, SPD had to achieve a balance between honoring officers killed in the line of duty and honoring their commitment to increase trust with the Seattle community.
Custom mourning badges engraved with each officer’s badge number were an elegant solution, and in June of 2020, we went to work to raise the needed funding.
SPF reached out to the community and asked for support to fund the purchase of these new custom badges that featured the mourning band with the officers’ badge numbers clearly displayed. The response was overwhelming and heartwarming. Because of the generosity of our SPF community, we quickly exceeded our goal of $70,000 and were able to provide these meaningful badges to the men and women of SPD.