2:29pm

Wed June 8, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Police Escorts for Funerals At Risk

Some tough budget decisions are expected today when Lexington’s Urban County Council convenes.  One of the items up for debate is the future of police escorts for Lexington area funerals. The future of police escorts for funeral processions could be decided Thursday at Lexington’s city hall.  Hoping to cut costs, Mayor Jim Gray wants to eliminate the service.  However, former Urban County Council member Jim Combs, who helped launch the service in 1980, says the escorts protect the processions.

“The funeral processions, sometimes, they are quite long and a lot of intersections they have to go through and every time you go through an intersection you take a chance on someone running into somebody,” said Combs.

Combs says it’s one way the city of Lexington can pay its respects to its citizens who have passed away. 

Each year, Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says the escorts cost the city about 400 thousand dollars.  She believes there may be other options in providing such a service.

“Some people think that funeral homes should hire off duty police to do it or some people have proposed that the sheriff’s office could take it over,” added Gorton.

Gorton says final budget decisions are expected next Tuesday.  The budget must be ratified by the end of June.