INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- They are the honorable few who stand over and protect officers’ bodies when they die, the honorable few who coordinate fallen officers’ funerals and the few who will perform a full military-style memorial for their brother in blue. The honor guard is currently working hard to make sure Southport Lieutenant Aaron Allan’s funeral is perfect.
CBS4 talked to Officer Scott McDaniel Wednesday, an Indiana Conservation Officer Honor Guard member and a member of the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police’s Critical Incident and Memorial Team. McDaniel joined the honor guard in 1998 after his immediate supervisor died in the line of duty during a water rescue.
“I was a very young officer at the time and it affected me very much,” McDaniel said. “When we went through his funeral for his line-of-duty death, I was very impressed with the FOP memorial team that came in to assist.”
McDaniel recalls the honor guard providing a sense of comfort to the family both in blood and in blue. He said it was the memorial team who made sure the uniformed hero received a fitting tribute.
On Saturday, when Lieutenant Aaron Allan is laid to rest, McDaniel and about 20 other men and women will take part. You will notice them in their hats and white gloves, setting aside their emotions and instead serving as pallbearers, escorts and flag folders.
“The guard will pick him up at the gate for the procession into the cemetery. We will have a walking guard that will consist of an honor guard OIC commander that will lead the procession. We will then have a contingent of bagpipers, who will play at the gravesite,” McDaniel explained.
Behind the scenes, the honor guard is preparing traffic and parking plans and making sure the cemetery is pristine for when Allan is laid to rest in the Heroes of Public Safety section at Crown Hill. It’s an area dedicated to first responders.
About a thousand people are expected to attend Lieutenant Allan’s funeral. They will come from around the country, as far away as California. Several police agencies nationwide plan to send at least one representative to show their support. McDaniel said the turnout alone proves how tight-knit the law enforcement brotherhood is.
“It lends a sense of formality, dignity and grace,” he said. “If we can come in and help them get through this on the logistical side, that’s why we do it.”
Donations for Lt. Allan's family can be made online here or mailed to:
Indianapolis Police Foundation
1525 South Shelby Street
Indianapolis, IN, 46203
(Reference the Lt. Aaron Allan Family Fund)
Donations may be made in person at:
Professional Police Officers Credit Union
1502 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN, 46201