Oct 4, 2019

Here at RTA the pride we feel in our work is across the board, and that’s no exception for our Transit Police Department. RTA has its very own Color Guard/Honor Guard and they stand at the forefront of the department’s pride. Comprised of 10 officers representing Transit Police, and RTA, to provide and protect a safe, reliable, clean and courteous public transit service. The RTA Transit Police Department has had a Color Guard/Honor Guard since 1988. Color Guard participates in celebratory events, and the Honor Guard participates in solemn occasions. These ten officers are part of both units. The Color Guard/Honor Guard is a voluntary position at Transit Police and the officers who serve in this capacity perform a truly professional and honorable mission on behalf of the department.

Officers wishing to take part in the Color Guard/Honor Guard need to submit their intentions for service and pass an interview from fellow members. This interview will allow candidates to express how they show their dedication to the department, take pride in their appearance and the appearance of the unit, and be the best representation of GCRTA and its Transit Police Department. With no term limits to the unit, picking the right people for the job becomes increasingly important. In 2019, a new era of Color Guard/Honor Guard has been established. We recently added four new officers to the guard, and have a reserve list of six officers ready to join the group as positions become available.

The Color Guard gets dispatched to many events throughout Cuyahoga County, including the annual Police Officer Memorial Parade. Color Guards and other units from across the region participate in this event. And while we have been fortunate as a department to have not lost any officers in the line of duty, the RTA Honor Guard does take part in memorial services or funerals for fallen officers.

While in formation, the flags are presented in a specific order: the American flag is first, followed by the State flag, national memorial (if applicable) and company flag (if applicable). The American flag is always held higher than the rest of the colors, along with any representation for other countries if the occasion calls for it. All other flags are held at a 45 degree angle.

The RTA Color Guard/Honor Guard is made up of the following members: Sgt. Rob Schwab, Det. Narayan Stitt, Investigator Todd Miller, Patrol Officers Tarik Thomas, Christopher Morley, Joseph Patalon, Christopher Anderson, Jason Koncz, Zachary McLeish, and Manuel Villanueva.