Most Police Agencies No Longer Escort Funeral Processions


Police-escorted funeral processions for ordinary citizens are a rarity in big cities, and increasingly so in smaller cities, says USA Today. Liability and staffing concerns have prompted several police departments in large metropolitan areas to stop providing the escorts. Police in Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles no longer provide escorts, except for police officers, firefighters or military personnel killed in battle. In most large cities, funeral escorts are provided by private companies that contract with funeral homes, or by the funeral homes themselves.

Courts in Tennessee and Florida have found that police and funeral homes that provide escorts for funeral processions can be held liable for crashes that occur during the processions. In most states, the lead vehicle in a funeral procession must obey traffic signals and stop signs, but other vehicles are not required to do so. Many funeralgoers are getting cited by red-light cameras for running red lights while a part of a funeral procession.

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