Did you ever think funeral escorts for civilian funerals were real cops? They wear uniforms that make them look like cops and drive simulated police motorcycles. Well, here are some possibilities:
- they might be police officers, if the city can spare their time;
- they might be peace officers picking up a little extra money on their day off; or
- they might be off-duty firefighters earning extra cash.
On the other hand, these motorcycle riders may be full-time funeral escorts, not peace officers at all. Such professional funeral service aides generally display compassion, skill, and a first-class knowledge of what is required to keep a funeral procession together and moving safely through the dense traffic of a metropolitan area. They are also the individuals who hand out the funeral stickers for cars permitted to be in the procession after the funeral service.
One point to consider is, if the back of the funeral sticker contains badly misspelled or blatantly wrong words in its description of the applicable state law, that may be a good indication of the quality of escort personnel they hire, too. (Careless inattention to detail.) Perhaps reason enough for those in the procession not to use the services of that particular mortuary, when a need arises in their own families.
Certified Funeral Escorts
Thankfully, some funeral escort services, such as Golden Gate Funeral Escorts in the San Francisco Bay area, guarantee that their fully trained escorts will be certified and courteous, and will behave in a dignified manner. However, an unfortunate percentage of other funeral escorts seem to have a chip on their shoulders, and it can show in unprofessional behavior. These people are rude and surly, cursing and unnerving drivers who are part of the funeral procession, and terrifying regular motorists who stray into their path.
At a time when family and friends are grieving the loss of a loved one, the last people they need to encounter on the way to the cemetery are mouthy, apparent dropouts from a police academy. Such individuals relish their opportunity to order other people around, and may well have failed the required psychological screening for the academy in the first place.
A Dangerous Assignment
At times, it’s not difficult to understand why funeral escorts develop an attitude they would not otherwise display, if they thought before they yelled at drivers in the procession. The job of funeral escort is actually a rather dangerous assignment: about two dozen funeral escorts have been killed on the job, due to being struck by inattentive or uncaring motorists. For this reason some cities, such as Seattle, may no longer allow their firefighters to work as funeral escorts in “off” hours. Still, in spite of the adverse aspects of the job, there is room for improvement in the public image some funeral cops display.