On April 19, 2014 the Calipatria State Prison (CAL) Honor Guard presented the State of California and United States flags at the Los Angeles Staples Center to kick off the 2014 National Basketball Association play-off series featuring the LA Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. This high-profile event is just one of many for the CAL Honor Guard. In the past year alone they have conducted the flag ceremony for the San Diego Padres, the San Diego Chargers, the L.A. Kings, and the Anaheim Ducks.
Correctional Sergeant (Sgt.) Robert Silvas has served as a member of the CAL Honor Guard for nearly twenty years. He assumed leadership of the team in 2011 and decided to focus on diversifying the team’s event profile. Silvas began by reaching out to the LA Clippers who responded with open arms. Sgt. Silvas says, “We always receive such positive feedback and have been invited back to every event we do.”
Participation in the Honor Guard is 100% voluntary. Officers take time out of their personal lives after their shifts and on days off. With that in mind, Silvas stresses the importance of including the officers’ families at every event stating, “For many of the officers’ children, it is their first experience at a major league sports game or even a parade. They get to see their parents in uniform serving CDCR and the local community.”
Silvas includes a female officer when possible to reaffirm that women are an important part of the peace officer team. They have received positive reactions from young girls who are amazed that women serve as peace officers. Local Reserve Officers Training Corps participation is encouraged by having local high schools make appearances alongside the Honor Guard during half-time shows. These events have proven to be a valuable recruitment tool, not only for the Honor Guard but for CDCR in general.
The CDCR’s Honor Guard helps to further the interests of the Department and contributes to long standing positive relationships with local communities.
For more information, please contact External Affairs, CDCR at (916) 445-4950.