Honor Guard

Honor Guard

Honor Guard Commander
Sgt. Don Zerillo


The Knoxville Police Department’s first stand alone Honor Guard was conceived in the spring of 2008. Prior to 2008, the Knoxville Police Department’s SOS team had dual duties of the Honor Guard and the SWAT team assignments.


The main purpose of the team is to honor and stand watch over law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Our Honor Guard Team takes pride in the law enforcement profession and strives to present a positive and professional image to the general public. Other Missions include civic events where the team will post and retire the colors, award ceremonies, and all other events that fall within the parameters of the Honor Guard supporting role responsibilities.


The Honor Guard consists of officers who are members of the team in addition to their regular assignments within the Police Department. The capabilities of the team are wide ranging. Members can be called upon within minutes of a request for supporting roles for an officer’s funeral. The team does require reasonable advanced notice for all other requests for missions to include post and relief of the colors, awards ceremonies etc…The equipment is indigenous to the team and is selected for the sole purpose of the teams’ missions. The team utilizes the M-14 service rifle as it’s primary weapon on the rifle detail.


To be considered as a potential member of this elite team, officers must make application through the personnel department, go through the interview process with the team commander and team members and, if candidates meet the criteria and are chosen, they must successfully negotiate the Honor Guard school. The school is very structured, disciplined and demanding requiring each candidate to complete 40 hours of intense training in order to be considered for final selection. Each member must maintain a physical regimen and possess impeccable character that is in keeping with the highest standards of the team. After selection to the team, each member attends one training each month in addition to all missions. All members are cross trained to perform all responsibilities required of the team.