A police officer has the power to enforce the laws even when he or she is not performing a normal job function or is working extra duty. Whether its for a funeral procession, a wedding or personal protection, a police escort is a way to arrive safely at your destination. Staffing costs and liability concerns, however, can make it difficult for you to get a police escort. Courts have held law enforcement agencies at fault for accidents that happened during a police led procession, for instance. Taking a well-thought-out approach to obtaining an escort can help you receive the protection that you need.
Plan the Details
Determine your need for an escort. Figure out what the escort is for, where are you going, how many officers you need, and for how long you need them. The availability and cost of a police escort may change depending on the purpose of the escort. For example, if you are a student and need an escort to or from a place at night, your school may offer police escorts free of charge. However, many law enforcement agencies no longer provide escorts for funeral procession because it takes too much time, especially when there is a long distance from the church to the cemetary. Having a clear assessment of your need for an escort may determine the next step you take.
Contact Law Enforcement
Contact your police or sheriff's department to discuss options for a police escort. Find out whether your department is able to provide an escort for your specific needs. If an escort is available, fill out the necessary forms and pay any required fees. The cost of a law enforcement escort varies by jurisdiction and the level of services needed for the anticipated length of the procession. Fees from $150 to $500 are common. Some police departments have escort or off-duty officer request forms online or available to pick up at the department headquarters.
Consider Private Companies
Consult private corporations if your public law enforcement agency cannot provide an escort. Some companies hire off-duty police officers and make them available for escort and other security services. Officers available for hire will often be fully certified and still in service in his or her local police force. To ensure you select a competent private company, ask local officers or your police department for a recommendation. Many funeral homes and mortuaries can provide an escort as part of the internment fees.
Liability concerns may arise when hiring a police escort. Be sure to read carefully any documents you sign that may absolve the officer, the police department or the private corporation of responsibility if an incident occurs.