At CopsAlive.com we focus on helping policing professionals survive this law enforcement career, but line of duty death is a reality we must prepare for in this profession. It is not so much a question of if it will happen within your department but rather when it will happen. Law enforcement line of duty death is also something that we don’t like to think about but if you don’t do some planning in advance, and prepare for, the likelihood you will be caught off guard and the trauma to you agency and it’s people will be even greater.
I recently had a chance to see firsthand the Honor Guard training provided by DFL Honor Guard out of Indiana. Their training is first rate and gives students all the tools needed to prepare themselves and your agency for the sad duty of saying goodbye to one of your own. If it must happen, it should be handled with dignity and honor and that’s what DFL teaches.
In May of 2013 the The Michigan Sheriff’s Association and the Michigan Chiefs of Police, two leading law enforcement organizations, have joined forces to form the Sheriff’s & Municipal Memorial Assistance Response Team (SMMART) and are sponsoring a DFL Honor Guard Training program in Alpena Michigan. I would highly recommend that you send your existing or new honor guard to this training if you can. Here are the details
Sunday May 19, 2013 at 5:00 PM EDT
Friday May 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM EDT
1021 Airport Rd
Alpena County Regional Airport
5 miles east of Alpena on M-32
Alpena, MI 49707
Their curriculum Includes:
Manual of Arms
Flag Law – Flag Etiquette – History
Bell Ceremony (for Firefighters)
Funeral Planning & Preparation
Also if your agency would like to host a school and undertake the responsibilities for putting on the training, DFL instructors can make arrangements to travel!
A school can be held most anywhere, it is just the determination of how much effort the host agency would like to put forth into the event and possibly the need or interest for this school at that specific location.
I was told by Dan Foley one of DFL’s instructors that “our school offers a complete “all inclusive” school, all lodging, meals, uniforms, training, materials, Thursday night (pre-grad) party of a steak roast, graduation ceremony, graduation banquet, challenge coin and photographs and a few other things we throw in here and there…the students are treated like royalty…and while they “earn their schooling” they are treated first class from the moment they step foot into the training”.
The cost of the school is $495 per person, and other than the student and their personal equipment, you can’t beat it.
You can register or learn more about this school and the curriculum by CLICKING HERE.
The DFL Honor Guard training is open to both law enforcement officers as well as Fire Fighters and EMS personnel.
I encourage you to send your team!
You can also learn more about DFL Honor guard training at their website at:
Many agencies do not know about all the resources available to you from Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.). Contact your local chapter to find out about local training or their national Traumas of Law Enforcement training. The national program is excellent and every agency should send at least one person.
You can learn more about this and other training programs by CLICKING HERE.
C.O.P.S. also has a number of model policies and written information for you to download for free.
- Support Services to Surviving Families – to assist agencies with handling an officer death.
- “In Person, In Time” – Procedures for Death Notification.
- Model Line-of-Duty Death Manual – Reprinted with permission of the Metro Transit Police Department, Washington, DC.
- Model Line-of-Duty Death Policy – Reprinted with permission of the Norman, OK, Police Department.
- Research in Brief – Survivors responses & departmental policies.
- How May We Assist Your Agency?
- Oklahoma State University Study – Posttraumatic Growth in Survivors of Police Officer Line-of-Duty Death Research Report.
- Your Personal/Financial Diary – An aid for organizing your affairs for your family.
- “Guide To Survival” – For family and friends of homicide victims.
- PSOB Beneficiaries Designation Form
I have not seen any of there programs but here are some other Honor Guard Training Programs and Resources:
The National Honor Guard Academy
Honor Guard Inc. of Broward County Florida offers an annual academy
Information About Honor Guards
Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Get your agency squared away now!
Photo credit: “Honoring the Dead Who Served” by randy son of robert as Creative Commons from Flickr.com
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Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE
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