A small Vermont police department has a big responsibility this weekend, ahead of the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
The Windsor Police Department’s honor guard was selected to appear on the field before kickoff, presenting the flag for the national anthem, alongside members of law enforcement from the other five New England states.
“Vermont is a piece of the New England family, and if somebody weren’t there from Vermont to represent the state, they’d be missing a little bit of Patriots nation,” said Officer Jered Condon of the Windsor Police Department, who is a member of the force’s honor guard.
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The department has done the job before, representing Vermont at Gillette before two previous championship matchups.
“It’s an honor and it’s a privilege,” said Chief Bill Sampson of the Windsor Police Department.
The responsibility is particularly meaningful to Sampson, who is a lifelong Pats fan originally from Worcester, Massachusetts.
“This is the biggest home game they’re going to have, and there’s no better time to be there,” Sampson said.
Sampson noted that the Patriots won both previous championship games the honor guard attended, so he thinks the Windsor officers may be something of a good luck charm.