Dedication • Vision • Precision
Although the formation of the Great Falls Police Department Honor Guard was discussed over many years, it took a tragic event to provide the impetus and ultimate motivation to see it created.
On February 6th, 2007, while en-route to Bozeman to pick up a patient, the Benefis Hospital Mercy Flight fixed wing aircraft crashed. The three crewmembers were killed:
Darcy Dengel, flight nurse, was engaged to GFPD Officer Rob Beall
Paul Erickson, flight paramedic and a Great Falls Firefighter, was a medical member of the GFPD High Risk Unit
Vince Kirol, pilot; Vince and his wife, a CMR High School teacher, both had close community ties
The decision was made to form the GFPD Honor Guard to give proper recognition to these individuals and their loved ones. Officer John Green, a former Marine with Honor Guard experience, volunteered his expertise in instructing raw recruits in the art of precision drill.
Time was short, but devotion and commitment were abundant. The Honor Guard was functional in less than a week, and not at a novice level of performance. Fellow officers who witnessed the first presentation of honors expressed that they were emotionally moved by the performance and its significance. Community members sent similar sentiments.
The Honor Guard was here to stay.
The Honor Guard is available for presentation of colors at community functions, ceremonial courtesy, and, of course, rifle salutes at appropriate funeral and memorial services.
The motto of the Great Falls Police Department Honor Guard is: “Dedication, Vision, Precision” in honor of: D(arcy), V(ince), and P(aul).
Requests for the Honor Guard should be directed to Captain Tim Shanks at (406) 455-8413.