No police escort could mean no procession for some funeral homes

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – As the Austin Police Department mourns the death of officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq, Police Chief Art Acevedo vows to look at the department’s policy on funeral processions.

Officer Abdul-Khaliq was escorting a procession last Thursday when police say a driver crashed into him.

“We’re either going to do them where we are not taking unnecessary risks or we won’t do them at all,” Chief Acevedo said on Sunday.

Harrell Funeral Home in South Austin says no escort could mean no processions.

“We would simply not have them,” Funeral Director David Ives said. “We would have to dismiss at the funeral chapel and reconvene at the cemetery at a certain amount of time.”

His funeral home averages up to four procession a week.

Right now, if a family wants a procession the funeral home makes the arrangements.

KXAN checked with a number of funeral homes around Austin and was told that normally up to three off-duty officers are used for an escort.

Harrell’s says a family pays about $150 for each officer.

“We would not even try to have a funeral procession on Austin roadways without the police escorts,” said Ives.

He said without the officers it would just be too dangerous.

Some funeral homes tell KXAN that another option could be hiring a private company to escort the procession, but that would cost the family more money.

Austin police tell us Chief Acevedo will look at the program after officer Abdul-Khaliq’s memorial on Thursday.

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