The original Portland Police Band was founded in 1908, as one of many brass bands of the time. Marching and performance bands were common among fraternal and community groups. Many parks had band stands where local musicians would play.
The Portland Police were a guest band at the 1915 World’s Fair in San Francisco, where they were conducted by John Phillip Sousa.
In 1936 Chief Harry Niles began the development of the Portland Police Drum and Bugle Corps. Their first public performance was in May of 1939 at the inspection and review of the department at a local stadium in with an audience of 25,000. The Drum and Bugle Corps visited Mexico City and played at the 1953 inauguration of President Eisenhower. Their final performance was for the 1959 Oregon Centennial.
In July of 1997 Officer Tom Jeffries was shot and killed during a traffic stop and foot pursuit. The following January, Office Colleen Waibel was shot and killed while covering a drug investigation. At both funerals pipers from other agencies were brought in to perform.
Recognizing a need, Honor Guard Sergeant Stephen Bell as well as Officers Brian Kelly and Erin Anderson founded the Portland Police Highland Guard to augment the PPB Honor Guard.
The band’s motto is "Nunquam Obliviscar;" We Shall Never Forget.
The pipe band is a component of the Portland Police Historical Society, a registered nonprofit. Portland Police Highland Guard is generously supported by voluntary donations from the men and women of the Portland Police Bureau.
The Highland Guard has participated in “line of duty” law enforcement and fire funerals from Port Angeles, Washington to Brookings, Oregon, as well as memorial services throughout the Northwest and British Columbia. A small contingent of the band performed the National Police Memorial event in Washington DC in 2002.
They are a regular in the Rose Festival Starlight Parade and at community functions. Solo pipers from the band also perform at the Oregon Police Academy graduations and at funerals of active and retired police.
Tax deductible donations,
(ID #51-0181442), can be made to:
Portland Police Highland Guard
c/o Police Museum
1111 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204