Local police go extra mile for families in grief

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY JULIE ANDERSON
The Hillsboro Police Department goes beyond the call of duty when it comes to helping with local funerals, according to those responsible for organizing the services.



?I was really impressed with the involvement of the police,? said Jared Jost, who is in his first year as director of Hillsboro Memorial Chapel. ?They just go nine miles out of their way to help.?



Police Chief Dan Kinning said helping at funerals is a tradition the department has kept for as long as he has been there.



The officers are available to help with funeral processions when needed.



?I know by tradition, funeral processions don?t stop and that is why we provide the service,? Kinning said.



He said the local funeral homes usually give them two days? notice prior to the event.



They also need to know the time the funeral service will let out, where it is held and where the burial service will be. Kinning also likes to know if it will be a large procession because it could require more officers.



Usually only one to two officers are needed. Kinning and another officer usually provide the service. If extra help is needed, the fire chief will help.



Not only do they lead the procession, but they also block off the intersections the procession will pass.



?From a traffic standpoint, it makes it much safer,? Kinning said.



The department?s service does not go unnoticed. ?It makes the people feel important. It makes them feel honored,? Jost said.



He said it kind of makes survivors feel like everything stops for them at that moment.



Kinning said people are usually grateful for the assistance.



Not only do officers show up for the procession but with enough notice, Jost said they even wash their cars for the funeral.



Not all local police departments towns provide this service, Jost said. Some towns he has worked in don?t do anything. On a few occasions, accidents have almost occurred because no one was blocking traffic.



?It is always a safety issue,? Jost said.



Kinning said larger towns usually provide less police help. The routes also are longer, making it harder to block all of the intersections. He said some funeral homes in larger cities have a private escort service.



?We provide it as a community service free of charge,? Kinning said.

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