Founded in 1999, the Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department is a not-for-profit Police Bagpipe and Drum band. Our mission is simple: “Honor Our Fallen” comrades, their families and friends in their time of need. We have been privileged to participate in the honor ceremonies of our own fallen Heroes as well as Police Officers and Firefighters across the mid-west. To see those we have honored click here.
In 2002 the band established the Chicago Police Memorial Fund. This endowment was created to provide headstones for Chicago Police officers killed in the line of duty and for those officers whose gravesites had fallen into disrepair or were without headstones. Since is the inception of this fund the band has provided numerous headstones in memory of our fallen.
The Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department is over (30) thirty members strong composed of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The only prerequisite to joining the Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department is that you be an active sworn member of the Chicago Police Department; this makes us one of a handful of Police Pipe and Drum Bands in the entire world comprised completely of it’s own rank and file; serving with honor, protecting with integrity.
In 2004 under the leadership of Pipe Major Dan McGuire Jr. and the tutelage of Jake Watson and John Cairns of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, the entire band ventured into the realm of professional pipe band competition. The band debuted in 2004 placing 3rd overall in the Mid-West Pipe Band Association Grade V competitions where over 25 bands were competing. Our friends from the Iowa Scottish Pipes and Drums had this to say; “…a bunch of quality guys putting together some quality sounds…making some noise in grade 5 this season…”. Real cops, reel music, real results.
Today we continue professional pipe and drum instruction under the leadership of Danny McGuire, with the help of Adrian Melvin and Jim Sim of the Midlothian Pipe Band. In addition, we have monthly weekend clinics with Jake Watson and John Cairnes of the 78th Fraser Highlanders.
The band wears the Earl of St. Andrews tartan which reflects the colors of the Chicago Police Department regulation uniforms. The summer dress consists of a white police shirt with the departmental and city patch and Earl of St. Andrew epaulets. Short sleeve for warm days and indoor events and long sleeve with black tie for the cooler days (marking the police department calendar). The outdoor winter dress is the departmental blue tunic shirt with the departmental sweater. With both uniforms the band wears white spats over oxford shoes, St. Andrew tartan socks, horse hair sporran, black waist belt with silver buckle and the Balmoral cap with a blue/white checkerboard band. The Drum Major wears a feather bonnet with a blue hackle and a blue and gold sash.
The band also wears a civilian dress uniform consisting of a black glengarry cap, short sleeved white CPD shirt with black tie, black vest, St. Andrews kilt, black leather sporran, white popcorn socks with navy flashes and ghillie brogues.