The Philadelphia Highway Patrol Drill Team was created by Police Commissioner Thomas Gibbons in 1953 in response to the financial need of seven families of Philadelphia Firefighters killed in the line of duty while battling a multi-alarm fire. All proceeds raised would benefit not only those families, but the families of all Police and Firefighters killed in the line of duty going forward. The Drill Team made its first appearance in 1954, at Municipal Stadium (later JFK Stadium) performing high speed maneuvers and various stunts for thousand of spectators. Throughout the years, the Drill Team has been involved in some of the most prestigious events in history and continues to ride for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Members of the Drill Team are the most elite officers who endure additional training in precision riding. This group of officers consists of 20 members who volunteer and try-out for the assignment under the supervision of the Drill Team Commander. Those individuals who make the team earned a star above their Highway Wings signifying their unique skill set.
The Highway Patrol Drill Team participates in the Annual Hero Thrill Show by performing precision riding and stunt maneuvers to raise money for the children of Police and Fire Officials killed in the line of duty.
The Drill Team regularly provides escorts and added security for high level government officials, such as the President and Vice-President of the United States, Foreign Heads of State and other visiting officials.
The members of the Drill Team are also sent to Washington for security at Presidential Inaugurations.
The Drill Team provides Police Motorcycle Escorts and serves as a motorized Honor Guard for Funeral Services, primarily for (but not limited to) Police and Fire Line of Duty Deaths.
The Drill Team has provided police escort and security services for notable events in history. Some include: