Springdale Buries Funeral Escorts

Other Cities Plan to Continue Police Service

Posted: January 17, 2013 at 5 a.m.

A funeral procession moves east Wednesday along West Meadow Avenue from Sisco Funeral Chapel in Springdale. Because of manpower and liability issues, Springdale police will no longer provide escorts for funeral processions.

Springdale police will no longer escort funeral processions heading from churches and chapels to gravesites, a move that’s angered funeral directors. Other police agencies in Northwest Arkansas plan to continue escorting funerals on request.

This story is only available from our archives.

As long as the city has been doing funeral escorts there never has been a liability issue. As far as a manpower issue I don't buy it just look at how many officers are setting around the police station and the CID office, not to mention the traffic control officers. This is doing the people of Springdale a disservice and is nothing but a tactic being used by the police chief to get the council to approve more officers. Remember when she threatened to remove school resource officers from the schools, it worked then and she thinks it will work now. Not doing this service for the families of the deceased is a disgrace.

Posted by: rummy

January 17, 2013 at 5:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Ray, I agree. It's bad enough that the public has lost respect for funeral processions that they speed by them, or don't bother pulling over if they meet a procession. O'Kelley says it's not safe anymore. Well, what do you think is going to happen when a procession is trying to stay together, maybe because someone doesn't know where the cemetery is located? The liability statement is just a ploy. I wonder if a person could get proof of the information where their insurer doesn't "want them in the escort business anymore" under the FOI act?

This is just another sign of how the world is evolving where nobody respects each other. I think it's great that we have people like O'Kelley in those positions to continue to degrade our society's behavior.

It's funny how Springdale's city government wonders why they can't get businesses to move in, why they have almost as many empty buildings as they have occupied buildings in the city. It's because of their stupid policies like this one.

Everyone that reads this article and disagrees with the new policy needs to email Mayor Sprouse @ dsprouse@springdalear.gov and tell him you disapprove of this policy.

Posted by: kennie

January 17, 2013 at 6:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

SHAME on the Springdale Police Dept and Shame on our Mayor. This is just disgusting.

Posted by: DCH

January 17, 2013 at 7:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

and to think the deceased was a former Tax Payer!!
Springdale will continue to remain on the "bottom of the list" when surrounding cities keep Doing More to Progress

Posted by: Commentor

January 17, 2013 at 7:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

>Escorts provide both a service and a public relations boost, said Kelly Cradduck, Benton County sheriff.>

That's a concept completely lost on Chickenopolis. Spdle poleeze haven't given much of a hoot about public relations. Isn't SPD due for another of their huge, embarrassing scandals?

Posted by: cdawg

January 17, 2013 at 9:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

When my in-laws in Kansas City died the funeral home arranged for the police escort and the cost for it was passed through to the family of the deceased. Seems to be a fair system--those who want the service pay for it and those who opt for end-of-life arrangements that do not require it, do not.

Posted by: FayFan

January 17, 2013 at 10:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

I prefer to live in a society that honors the elderly, the dying, and the dead. If the importance of honoring the dead and their family is lost on the chief of police then perhaps she might consider the more mundane concepts of issues of public safety when a funeral procession brings a sudden surge of traffic with dozens of vehicles now added to normal traffic; the high profile of police officers doing something positive and not punitive; the deterant to would-be malfeasants of a high visibility police presence...and I suppose the list could go on. All in all, I think this is not well thought out.

Posted by: Jim_Huffman

January 17, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

@ FayFan: I respect that option, and, it may come to that in Springdale.

But, my thinking, right/wrong or indifferent is, chances are, the person lying in the coffin probably paid enough in taxes to cover this service for their last ride many times over. Just because their dead doesn't mean their tax money isn't still "in the system" paying for public services. And here's the deal, it's not like every funeral wants/needs an escort. With funeral costs already sky high, a lot of funerals are graveside anymore to help keep expense down.

Posted by: kennie

January 17, 2013 at 1:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Just a note, a few days ago I drove by the CID office and counted 16 detective cars parked around the building. I would think if they have that many officers at the office at a time they would have at least one to do a escort . Some things you just do because it is the right thing to do, this is one of them. The Chief, the mayor, and the city council should be ashamed of themselves. Manpower and liability issues are nothing but a smoke screen, they all should be thrown out.

Posted by: rummy

January 17, 2013 at 4:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Last week we buried one of Springdale's most respected citizens, Bruce Vaughan. A very dignified escort from Sisco to Tontitown was escorted and most all the traffic all the way out Sunset moved to the side and stopped. What a wonderful last ride out 412 for a man that gave so much to this city.
An officer stood by with a final salute for the WWII veteran as the procession continued past the city line without the escort. Hardly any other vehicle pulled over and those that tried to were honked at.
Officers are paid to serve and protect, even the dead.
This is a traffic issue and the department should work this service into its budget. Public Safety is their job.

Posted by: lunadea

January 17, 2013 at 4:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

This is a safety issue because funeral processions are dangerous the bigger the procession the more danger. I'm sure if they will take a little of the overpass to know where money and use it for off duty officers to do this it would work out.
I would suggest that one of the first things that needs to be done though is the law needs to be amended to pertain to funeral processions. Because some people stop some don't. This causes a major traffic danger..Respect is one thing but running into the back of a car because they have whipped over to the side of the road is a real health problem for everyone involved.
Looks like more escort cars would be a good idea not less till the law is changed to be more like what it is for emergency vehicles.

Posted by: troutjig

January 17, 2013 at 7:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Hey RayNelson: Reckon if O'Kelley kicked the bucket that she wouldn't get a police escort???

Posted by: kennie

January 18, 2013 at 9:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )


I posted the truth about O' Kelly and friends and what could be the facts behind this and the News took it down either because of what I said about the reporter of this article or because I called out O' Kelly and her minions. What are they afraid of ?

Posted by: rummy

January 18, 2013 at 9:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The previous comment was removed not for criticizing the reporter or publication, but for violating our terms of service for commenting, which can be seen here:

Posted by: cfort

January 18, 2013 at 9:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

With what these guys charge to put you in the ground it seems they could handle it easily. Putting a little flashing light on top of a lead and trailing vehicle shouldn't cost much.

Posted by: jeffieboy

January 18, 2013 at 10:10 a.m. ( | suggest removal )