The inception of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Honor Guard can be traced to a handful of deputies who felt a desire to attend the funerals and show respect for peace officers who had died in the line of duty. In 1997, Sheriff Bill Wittman hand picked six dedicated deputies and sergeants to form the first official Honor Guard Team. What started out in the 1970s as a small group of deputies taking extra care and diligence in the care of their uniforms has evolved into a group of 10 deputies and sergeants who have invested time and great effort to become an effective ceremonial unit.
Honor Guard members are sworn peace officers who have been specially chosen from all divisions of the department. Duties include providing funeral honors for officers who have been killed in the line of duty, as well as for those peace officers who have honorably retired from the department. Additionally, they post the national, state and departmental colors at many community events, including departmental and regional law enforcement award ceremonies. Some of the most solemn events include attendance at the California Peace Officers’ Memorial ceremony in Sacramento each May, as well as attending the funerals of peace officers who have died in the line of duty throughout California. The Honor Guard considers it a great honor to be involved in these affairs and members take great pride in representing the more than 700 talented, dedicated, and professional men and women of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.
The Honor Guard currently utilizes the Ruger Mini 14 rifle for ceremonial duties. An Honor Guard bagpiper and bugler are used when appropriate. Beyond regular training, members receive a week of annual training from the Public Safety Honor Guard School. The unit’s goal is to never be satisfied or content with present abilities, but always strive to achieve a higher level of capabilities. Our devotion to duty and desire to honor those that have gone before us drives us to excel. Paying tribute to our fallen Brothers and Sisters, with Dignity, Honor and Respect.