Thursday, May 31, 2012
Pipeline to passion: Palos Heights Tom Cody reflects on 30 years with all-cop band - Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society
Tom Cody doesn’t mind being asked what he wears under his kilt.
In fact, Cody — a piper for the all-cop band, the Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society, Chicago Police Department — gets a chuckle out of it.
“I wish I had a nickel for every time somebody asked me that,” Cody said. “I’d be richer than Donald Trump, I think.”
The band, after all, is marking its 30th anniversary this month, and Cody is a founding member.
But forget the nickels. Cody’s real riches are in the friendships he has made and the public service he has performed over a lifetime, including with the band.
Cody is into his second career as a police officer, having spent 28 years with the Cook County sheriff’s police and the past 10 as a detective for the Merrionette Park Police Department.
“Since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a police officer,” Cody said. “I’m blessed. Not too many people can say they fulfilled their childhood dreams.”
Through his volunteer efforts with the pipe band, the Palos Heights resident serves his fellow officers and their families, in addition to the public. The band has played at more than 100 funeral services for law enforcement officials and firefighters.
Pressed, Cody will say it’s one of the reasons he continues to give his time to the band.
“It’s the honor, to honor our fallen police officers,” he said. “Service and camaraderie, yeah, they’re all there, too.”
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