Officer Christian Cruz, Cpl. Kenneth Furman, Officer John Weissgerber, Officer Dara Humphries and Officer James McPherson make up the honor guard, led by Lt. Michael Hales.
“The formation of the honor guard was one of our goals of the department this year,” Canton Police Department Spokesman Pacer Cordry said. “The goal was formulated by the Chief Robert C. Merchant Jr. and members of the department.”
An honor guard is a ceremonial unit of highly motivated volunteers who serve during memorial services for armed service members, government officials, first responders and police families, he said.
Officers who were interested in becoming a member had to submit a memorandum to Merchant, Cordry said, noting they had to have no written reprimand and have a good yearly evaluation to be considered for the duty.
The police department’s command staff reviewed the submissions and recommended a list of officers for Merchant’s approval, he said.
The guard practices two to four times a month, Cordry said, adding they have uniform inspections and practice carrying flags and marching.
“They make it look easy, but a lot of work and dedication goes into making everything go just right,” he said.
Though the honor guard primarily provides funeral honors, it will also function as a color guard, carrying the U.S. flag in parades and presenting the flag at events, Cordry said.
The honor guard just completed marching in the American Legion Fourth of July parade in downtown Canton, he said.