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Standardized Law Enforcement Funeral Protocol

NCJ Number
Bruce Wilson
Date Published
May 2006
3 pages
This article provides information on developing a funeral protocol for a fallen officer killed in the line of duty.
This article highlights a few factors in planning a police funeral. This protocol was developed through extensive research and collective experience obtained by through conducting actual law enforcement-related funerals. The death of a member of the police community is an emotional time for the department and family of the deceased, for the residents of his or her jurisdiction, and for his or her peers at other agencies. Developing a funeral plan for a fellow officer is not an easy task. Each agency should have in place a well-thought-through procedure to provide comfort and order to all. A carefully crafted procedure will help the police department handle the details, which are numerous and delicate. Some of the considerations examined in this article include: notifications, media attention, death and funeral notice, the flag and coffin protocol, the selection of the special ceremonial elements and the elements' roles and positioning, and the actual order of the ceremonies. Also provided is information on how to obtain a standard law enforcement funeral resource guide.