A funeral is difficult, emotional, and costly.
The average funeral costs about $6600.
The one thing families could count on was free help from police, until now.
$90 per officer.
That how much it will now cost families to have a police escort for their funeral in Statesboro.
Statesboro police changed their policy on New Year’s Day, deciding “not” to provide free escorts for funerals in the city.
Statesboro Police say its a matter of money. 249 escorts means 342 officer hours in the last 14 months.
Those are officers who can’t provide essential police services while working a funeral.
Families can now request an officer to help, but they will also pay for that off duty officer’s time.
Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie says his department has always helped families in their time of need and has no plans to stop.
“There are two times in a person’s life that they really remember,” explains McDuffie. “Thats the birth of a child or the death of a loved one. And we are going to try and make that death of a loved one as easy of a transition as was can, we will help out as much as we can.”
McDuffie’s office helped with 202 funerals last year, more than 250 man hours of their own. But he says its worth the time and money.
“These are all taxpayers that are paying taxes in most cases anyway,” explains the Sheriff. “I hate to burden them even more when they are in need when they ared having a bad way to begin with. I lost my dad a couple years ago and the Sheriff’s office there jumped in and helped us escort, and we appreciated it.It meant a lot to me they made time to stop for my family.”
Chatham County Sheriff’s also provide funeral escorts. They tell News 3 they will continue helping grieving families anytimes they can.