Showing Honor, Respect and Regard By: Terry Callahan

Honor – to celebrate or show great respect for someone or something; a testimony of esteem.
This is the objective of the Easton Police Department’s Honor Guard. While the terms “honor guard” and “color guard” seem synonymous, there is a difference. Sgt. Tim Larrimore explains, “The difference between the two is often the use of flags and rifles (color guard).  We define it differently in the Police world.  Our unit is considered an Honor Guard, but an honor guard is typically only used in a funeral setting.  In that setting the Honor Guard will provide services such as a casket guard, pall bearers and rifle detail.  In other, non-funeral, settings we provide more of a Color Guard service, consisting of a combined rifle and flag team for parades, presentations and demonstrations.  It is always prepared to fill whichever role is needed at the time.”
Members of the EPD Honor Guard serve on a voluntary basis. Currently, the twelve members are Lt. Brandon Bobbick, Sgt. Tim Larrimore (the current most senior member – 19 years), Mpfc. Howard Maxwell, Pfc. Megan Coxon, Pfc. Ashley Bayne, Pfc. Joe Schinault, Pfc. Ben Schorr, Pfc. Frank Sova, Pfc. Emily Walter, Pfc. Kyle Willey, Pfc. Tyler Claggett and Pfc. Cody Blann. Having twelve members allows four or more members to attend an event without interfering with the daily needs of the police department.
The Easton Police Department Honor Guard was created by Lt. Michael Henry (Retired) in 1999 with 5 members at the instruction of former Chief George Harvey.  The unit began by attending Line of Duty services and various parades. Lt. Henry built the team up and created the Training Conference when he saw a need for an Honor Guard school.  Begun in 2002, this is currently the only such school within the state. Upon Lt. Henry’s retirement, the day to day operations were first taken over by Rich Bayliss and then by Sgt. Larrimore.
Easton Police Department conducts an Honor Guard Training Conference every October that is open to any agency. “We use a combination of EPD and other agency personnel to instruct in Flag Carry, Rifle Manual, Casket Detail and Flag Folding,” says Sgt. Larrimore. “Allied agencies come from throughout the state and have come from as far as Massachusetts to Georgia.  Each member of the unit is required to complete this training within the first year of their appointment to the team.  We also conduct quarterly training which is scheduled to take 4-8 hours every quarter.” The unit’s skills include flag and rifle maneuvers. Their movements follow the basic military manual with defined positions for Parade Rest, Attention, Port Arms, Present Arms and Shoulder Arms.
As long as manpower issues allow, EPD’s Honor Guard unit participates in parades, memorial services and public assembly events such as the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast and the Special Olympics Open Ceremonies at Chesapeake College and Towson University along with line of duty services anywhere within Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It also participates in parades throughout Maryland when requested. Generally, the unit participates in twelve or more events a year.
There are protocols in Honor Guard presentations. When side by side (line), the flags are displayed in ranking order with the National Flag on the audience’s left.  When lined up, one behind the other, the flags are carried in ranking order, with the national Flag in the front.  The flags are flanked by Rifles in both formations. “Our movements follow the basic military manual.  We have defined positions for Parade Rest, Attention, Port Arms, Present Arms and Shoulder Arms,” explains Sgt. Larrimore.
Sgt. Larrimore shared reasons for participating in the unit. “Firstly, I view it as the very last opportunity to show respect to an officer that has dedicated so much of themselves to our profession.  Secondly, it provides an opportunity to represent the Easton Police Department and Town of Easton. The honor guard provides a view of the Easton Police that isn’t seen on a daily basis.  It can help provide closure and set the example for showing respect to wonderful members of our community who have dedicated so much of their lives to our community such as the memorial services for former Mayor Purdy and Council President John Ford.”
Events affect unit members in different ways. Sgt. Larrimore reflects, “The one moment I will never forget was at a Line of Duty Death service.  After the playing of Taps and rifle volley there was complete silence that was broken by the young daughter of the fallen officer yelling “Daddy, No!”  I will never forget that.  Other memorable moments usually involve us standing at attention in extreme weather (heat, cold, snow and rain) for very long periods of time.  It creates a large amount of pride to look around in those moments and see hundreds of uniformed personnel, united together in such a show of honor and respect.”
The Easton Police Department participated in or led out in over 65 events in 2019.  Those events included Coffee With A Cop, Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events trainings, school talks, building tours, National Night Out, Special Olympics Torch Run, Commercial Security Assessments, community talks and various other events.
“Our community consistently provides praise to the Members of the Easton Police Department.  The Honor Guard Unit receives its share of this praise frequently from members of our community offering their thanks for our participation in all of our various events. I hope it shows that we, the Easton Police Department, are here for them no matter what the circumstance is.  We’re here through the good and the bad.”
For more information, Sgt. Larrimore can be reached at 410-822-1111 ext: 2421.