Camden Police department
Honor Guard

Over the years the Camden Police Department has had officers serve as an honor guard at different events. In 1941, three firemen and three policemen maintained a vigil as a guard of honor at the funeral of City Commissioner Henry Magin. They were Patrolmen Jack Kaighn, George Weber, and William Deery and Firemen Arthur Batten, Warren Carter and William Reed.  

In the 1960s Officer Joseph McCann, who later became Chief, put together an all-police unit which functioned for several years. A new all-volunteer Honor Guard was put together in 1987 mostly though the efforts of Rich Desmond, who later became involved in organizing the Camden County Emerald Society, comprised of active and retired policemen, firemen, emergency medical technicians and former U.S. military members, who realized the need for a police and fire band. 

The Police Department Honor Guard's first function was the line of duty funeral for Officer William F. Brey of the Pennsauken Police Department, in May of 1987.  

Camden Police Department Honor Guard

From left: Danny Morris, Sam Sykes, Rich Desmond, Miguel Ruiz, Marc Toscano and Rich Chandler

Rich Desmond was very instrumental with the formation our honor guard. We were given the green light from Chief Pugh if we could find a way to fund it. We had to really hustle the supplies, flags et al. Officers had to purchase their own for the most part and sending the officers for training  (yes, there is a school for honor guards)!   

The original honor guards go back to Officer Joseph McCann, later chief. Chuck Cahilly resurrected things in the late 60's for the Cherry Hill Race Track, until we were asked not to participate anymore.  Because we were so dominating we were seeing less departments participate.  If they only knew. Our plans were to include a Marine styled blouse coat with the high collar as the PD had discontinued the blouse coats in 1972.  

Charles Kocher
October 2008  

Thanks to Marc Toscano for furnishing this picture, Charles Kocher for his commentary and Larry Worrell commentary and for making sure this data was made available to this website.