A primary purpose for the Honor Guard is to provide funeral honors for fallen comrades and to guard national monuments. An Honor Guard may also serve as the "guardians of the colors" by displaying and escorting the national flag on ceremonial occasions at official state functions. Military Honor Guards may also serve as ambassadors to the public, presenting a positive image of their service, and assisting with the recruiting effort – color guards can be seen at many sporting events, parades, and even marathons and other social events as deemed appropriate.
In 2004 with the death of a local officer, Jasper Vallejos, Deputies at the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office found a need for an honor guard for the agency. Headed up by Deputy Jim Coleman, uniforms were acquired, and personnel were selected with dedication to what it is to be part of an honor guard. The usefulness of this team has been shown time and again throughout the years attending funerals for fallen officers across the region and state. At these events they have participated in numerous capacities from being members of a cordon, posting the colors, rifle volley team, motorcade escort, Casket Watch, pall bearers and many other tasks as necessary to honor the fallen officer.
This last year, the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office assisted Cortez Police Department in honoring the passing of Chief Roy Lane on December 20, 2019. Having the capability to assist another agency with these tasks allows the members agency to focus on their people, the family, co-workers, and support staff.