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  • Funeral Escort Officer

    I have a friend that is a funeral escort officer, which it states in the indiana code that if you are a funeral escort that you can have alternating red and blue lights in your vehicle. Well he is also a vol. fireman and he was on a run today where he was on a dangerous curve so he kicked on his rear deck lights that are red and blue to slow down traffic for everyones safety on the scene and he was approached by a local town marshal that his town was about 20 miles away, he was driving the ambulance, and the town marshal told him to turn on all of his lights, so he did, and then a co. deputy came over and told him that he had to remove the lights from his vehicle and so he did. He took the dual l.e.d. out of his front window and placed it in the passanger seat and then shut the door and went around to the front of the vehicle and cut the power wire to the front red l.e.d. in his grille. While he was at the front of the vehicle the co. deputy opened his passanger side door and took his window light and said that he was "taking it"...didnt write him a citation or anything, just took it. Needing some more input...i told my buddy all I could think of.

  • #2
    After reading the Indiana laws, it surprises me that a funeral escort service can use the same colors as LEO's. They definitely can't do that down here in TN. They can have lights, but not blue in color. Funny this came up, I stopped a limo last week driving down the road with white strobes behind the grill that were flashing. Turned out it was a limo for a funeral escort and the guy had forgot to turn them off. Still kind of hard to believe that he could not see them on driving down the road at night.

    Maybe the deputy didn't believe this guy worked for a funeral escort service. Since he wasn't performing in that function and decided to kick on some blue lights, he could have been charged. I'm assuming the deputy took them instead of charging your friend. I wouldn't push the issue if he knew he wasn't supposed to have them on.
    Last edited by SgtScott31; 10-08-2007, 09:53 PM.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    • #3
      Here, all funerals are escorted by police officers in police cars so there is no reason to allow a civilian to have them in a personal vehicle. As far as taking the lights, it may be authorized and has no bearing on whether he wrote a citation or not. In most instances, when something of value is taken, a reciept should be given in return.
      If one man can make a difference, every man should.

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      • #4
        What's the question?

        IC 9-21-13-4


        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Lead and escort vehicles; flashing lights; restrictions on use
        Sec. 4. (a) The lead and funeral escort vehicles in a funeral procession may be equipped with flashing amber lights that may be used only when the vehicles are used in a funeral procession.
        (b) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this article that govern emergency vehicles, the lead and funeral escort vehicles in a funeral procession may be equipped with flashing red lights that may be used only when the vehicles are used in a funeral procession. The flashing red lights may only be used to gain the right-of-way at intersections and to protect a funeral procession while crossing an intersection.
        I miss you, Dave.
        http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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        • #5
          I think the question lies here.

          Originally posted by darlingtonunit1 View Post
          deputy opened his passanger side door and took his window light and said that he was "taking it"...didnt write him a citation or anything, just took it.
          Shouldn't there at least be some form of paperwork documenting this event, of which the offender should receive a copy?
          "I'm not afraid of loving my enemies...
          I honestly want peace with you.
          But when you come against my country,
          When you come against my family,
          You try to destroy my people,
          I can't just stand by...
          I am coming, and if I come, then
          Pain is coming with me!"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CruiserClass View Post
            What's the question?

            IC 9-21-13-4


            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Lead and escort vehicles; flashing lights; restrictions on use
            Sec. 4. (a) The lead and funeral escort vehicles in a funeral procession may be equipped with flashing amber lights that may be used only when the vehicles are used in a funeral procession.
            (b) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this article that govern emergency vehicles, the lead and funeral escort vehicles in a funeral procession may be equipped with flashing red lights that may be used only when the vehicles are used in a funeral procession. The flashing red lights may only be used to gain the right-of-way at intersections and to protect a funeral procession while crossing an intersection.
            Certainly nothing in the code that permits alternate flashing "RED/BLUE" lights on a funeral escort. Hmmm, looks like someone was pulling someone's leg.
            Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

            [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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            • #7
              whats the las for volley's in indiana? I can't see any problems with him hving them on during a emergency call, much like he was on, to protech the scene... imho his veh became an emergency veh when he entered the scene...
              Why do we try so Hard for Little things, and so Little for Hard things?

              "There is no happiness without tears; no life without death. Beware, I will give you cause to weep"

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              • #8
                Same here in Texas, Police Officers are escorts. In Texas if those lights were used on a public roadway they would be considered illegal devices and can be confiscated without a warrant or can be made defective. But I would write an incident report.
                "An officer has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."

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                • #9
                  Funeral Escort Officer

                  In Alabama, there really is no such thing as a "Funeral Escort Officer". Most escorts of that type are performed by off-duty police officers, using issued vehicles. The use of either blue or red lights in a private vehicle would be a violation of Alabama Law.

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                  • #10
                    IC 9-21-13-1
                    Right-of-way at intersections; conditions; exceptions
                    Sec. 1. (a) A vehicle with lighted headlights in a funeral procession has the right-of-way at an intersection and may proceed through the intersection if the procession is headed by a lead or funeral escort vehicle displaying alternately flashing red and blue lights, except if either of the following conditions exist:
                    (1) When the right-of-way is required by an authorized emergency vehicle giving an audible signal.
                    (2) When the vehicles in procession are directed otherwise by a police officer.
                    (b) Before assuming the right-of-way, a person who drives a vehicle in the funeral procession must exercise due caution with regard to crossing traffic.
                    As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9. Amended by P.L.236-2003, SEC.8.

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                    • #11
                      I can see everyones insight...but in indiana the color for vol. fireman is blue so he has the right to flash blue lights at a scene. But also my friend has been a LEO for 4 yrs and just turned in his equipment in January. So its not like he is just a common civilian. He has done this for four years and has extensive training, just like all of us. But the part that I am having trouble with is why did the deputy think it was ok to just take his light and not give him a receipt. And in the state of indiana to have an "illegal display of a red light" is still just an infraction. thats why im kinda lost, why he just didnt write him the infraction instead of being an *** about it?

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                      • #12
                        While going to college in Sacramento, I worked for River City Motor Escorts, which specialized in funeral escorts. The company was run by a retired CHP motor officer, and we used Kawasaki Police 1000(1100?) bikes. We wore pseudo-CHP uniforms and had amber flashers on our bikes. The training consisted of an 8 hour class run by another retired Chippie out of his home.

                        We would basically leapfrog from intersection to intersection, blocking cross traffic to allow the procession to travel in line. It was a fun job, and the owner was quite a character. My job interview was a side by side high speed run on I-80 right next to him on the Kawa. If you could keep up, he hired you.
                        I was 21 years old at the time it was a blast. I learned a lot about high performance motorcycle riding from that man and that job..

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                        • #13
                          What does the above post have to do with this topic??? Im confused.


                          Anyway, Darlington, the statute that you showed, IMO, was intended to be directed at other motorists. It was not intended to authorize what color lights a "Funeral Escourt Officer" is permitted to use. I would venture to assume an LEO could also serve as a funeral escourt vehicle in a funeral procession, which is why this statute mentions red and blue lights. All of this is my opinion but I think one thing is clear here...that statute you cited above was directed toward vehicle traffic right of way laws....not at what color lights a funeral escourt vehicle is permitted to display. It simply was telling traffic must yeild right of way to the lead vehicle in a funeral escourt should the lead vehicle be displaying read or blue lights.

                          The statute that was listed by cruiserclass seems to be directed at "Funeral Escourt Officers" as you put it. IMO it is the statute that permits escourt vehicles to have flashing red lights. It also expressly spells out that the red lights may only be used to protect other vehicles in a funeral procession. Not to respond to a fire scene. Your friend seemed to be stretching the law and got caught. According to that statute he is only permitted to use his red lights in conjuntion with funeral escourts. Therefore your friend should know that he shouldnt have had them on since he was not performing in a funeral escourt and is not an Indiana LEO.

                          I dont know what Indiana laws say about volunteer fire fighter lights but I am assuming that he, from being a vol. fire fighter, is alowed to display his blue lights only when responding to a fire and performing within his official capacity as a fire fighter.

                          Why the officer didnt give your friend a property receipt for the lights I do not know. However, your friend seems to be in the wrong here and is probably lucky that he wasnt cited or arrested for impersonation or some other infraction in your state.


                          Florida and most southern states are a little different. In FL there are no civilian vol fire fighters with red or bluel ights in their vehicles. Not that I have ever seen at least. In Florida, law enforcement is required to display blue lights; however, most use red and blue together. Blue in Florida is specificaly used for law enforcement. I know in many northern states, such as Indiana I assume, blue is used for fire fighters and EMS personell.
                          Last edited by deputyryan; 10-10-2007, 09:05 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Question, how would he be arrested for impersonating? I want you to prove that one to me... yall have to remember he didn't respond to the call with lights on (atleast thats what the post says) He activated them on scene to protect it, himself, and others. I don't see a valid reason to take the light...
                            Why do we try so Hard for Little things, and so Little for Hard things?

                            "There is no happiness without tears; no life without death. Beware, I will give you cause to weep"

                            R.I.P Hand Sanitizer, you will be missed…

                            Remember, Gay, Straight, Black, White, or HIV+, on this forum you're "Blue" and that's what matters most.

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                            • #15
                              Like I said I dont know the fine details of Indiana law. I only have read what was posted above. I could see something like this being over stretched into the friend attempting to pass himself as a law enforcement officer. Based on what was said I dont belive that is the case. Im just giving food for thought.

                              I dont know Indiana law and dont know why the light was confiscated. I can only speculate and that is what I made clear in my post. Im simply speculating.

                              If it were me in Florida with those statutes in my jurisdiction I would have written a property receipt at least for the ceased lights and submitted them into the evidence department. But thats me based on my understanding of the Indiana law and my experience.

                              In Florida I could have given the person a citation for improper display of lights. Impersonation based on what the poster has said this far certainly wouldnt apply where I live. But a civlian with red a blue lights in their car certainly would make me wonder.

                              If the officer should not have taken the lights then the posters friend might want to make a complaint to get them back. But also bear in mind that the posters friend seems to have been in violation of the law as I have read it.
                              Last edited by deputyryan; 10-10-2007, 10:03 AM.

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