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Palmer Police Seek Funeral Escort Fee

Palmer Police Chief seeks fee from funeral homes for police escorts, services.

The Palmer Police Department is seeking a fee to cover some of the expenses for providing funeral escorts and services.

At Tuesday night's Palmer Township Board of Supervisors meeting, an addition to the 2013 fee schedule was requested by Police Chief Larry Palmer.

The chief asked for a fee of $25 per funeral escort to offset some expenses.

Palmer said that the police department covered 276 funerals in 2011 and usually do at least two a day where Palmer assigns sometimes three or four officers to cover a funeral escort through town.

"It's not an unreasonable number," Supervisors Chairman Dave Colver said. "Twenty-five dollars won't break the bank and it will cover some expenses."

Supervisors K. Michael Mitchell and Bob Lammi believe charging a fee is a good idea.

Palmer said that Easton and Bethlehem police charge for funeral escorts. (Forks Township and Wilson do not.)

Colver asked how funeral homes would find out they would be billed and Palmer said he would alert the 20 funeral homes around the region. Funeral homes would be billed monthly.

A resident wondered whether the police department handles all funeral escort requests.

"They aren't dropping a call to do a funeral escort," Colver said.

The police chief said that his department "makes a majority of them," especially since most are during the day.

The fee would take effect in January once the board approves the fee schedule.

Township Manager Christopher Christman said that he is preparing the township's budget, which must be finalized before the end of the year.

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