DETROIT (WWJ) – Getting a police escort for a funeral procession was a common service at one time. But as WWJ’s Rob Sanford reports, budget concerns have forced Detroit to join other major cities in ending the practice.
Budget deficits and declining personnel are the major forces behind the Detroit Police Department’s decision to end free funeral escorts. Police Chief Ralph Godbee said it’s a drain on resources and is unfair for officers to accompany some processions and not others.
Godbee said he plans to talk with funeral homes about offering police escorts for customers who chose it as part of the cost of a funeral. It’s not clear how much the service costs and there are no rules to cover who gets a police escort and who doesn’t.
The Motor City is one of the last major cities to offer the free service, but it’s been determined it’s just too expensive to continue. Other cities that have recently made the same decision include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Atlanta, some citing traffic safety issues.