FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2021) — Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky State Police (KSP) celebrated and paid tribute to the agency’s Honor Guard unit for 40 years of dedicated service to the commonwealth. The Governor proclaimed Nov. 11 as Kentucky State Police Honor Guard Day to mark their 40th anniversary. A copy of the proclamation can be found here.
“The KSP Honor Guard has provided a professional presence during ceremonies, including those to memorialize Kentuckians lost to COVID-19,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am thankful to this elite unit for their service and steadfast dedication to honoring the lives of officers and citizens alike.”
The Honor Guard represents KSP at civic events, parades, public and agency ceremonies. This specialized unit performs the “Presentation of Colors” at various events and provides honors for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. One of their most important duties is to provide funeral honors for retired troopers. During a retiree’s funeral visitation, they serve as a casket guard standing at the head of the coffin as a sign of respect. Additionally, during the graveside service, they present a folded Commonwealth of Kentucky and KSP flag to the family in honor of their loved one’s dedication and service to the state, and conclude with a final salute over the coffin.
“Over the years our Honor Guard unit has set the tone for consistency and expertise,” said KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. “For decades they have represented both this agency and the state with a level of professionalism that is to be commended.”
Over the past 40 years, the Honor Guard has set several milestones, including the unit’s first public appearance in the Glasgow Veterans Day Parade in 1981. In May 2010, they participated in the Honor Guard National Competition in Washington, DC, for the first time, and where they competed in three phases: uniform inspection, Presentation of Colors and exhibition presentation. The KSP Honor Guard won all three phases earning ‘First-Place Team Overall.’
On Sunday, KSP Honor Guard joined Gov. Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, religious leaders, health care heroes and the Lindsey Wilson College Singers to stand watch during the a memorial ceremony for more than 10,200 Kentuckians lost to COVID-19. To learn more, see the full release.
Currently, the KSP Honor Guard has 13 members. Troopers are chosen for their attention to detail and protocols, skills and dedication. During their service on the team, the members train monthly to improve their skills and their precision in working as one unit.
The mission of KSP is to promote public safety through service, integrity and professionalism using partnerships to prevent, reduce and deter crime and the fear of crime, enhance highway safety through education and enforcement, safeguard property and protect individual rights.
This year, the number one priority for KSP is creating a better Kentucky by making the commonwealth’s streets safer, communities stronger and the nation more secure by providing exceptional law enforcement made up of a diverse workforce. For more information about career opportunities with KSP visit their website.
Last week, the Governor announced that he plans to make historic investments to improve public safety in his upcoming budget proposal. The Governor’s two-year budget plan will provide millions of dollars to fund competitive salaries for Kentucky State Police troopers, officers and telecommunicators, supply recording devices for KSP sworn troopers and increase the peace officer training stipend. To read more, click here.
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