Law enforcement officers are some of the bravest individuals in the world, because they pledge their lives and make everyday sacrifices to protect their communities for the greater good. When a law enforcement officer passes away, it is important that his or her funeral represents a certain level of honor and respect for their service and commitment. In this article, we take a closer look at law enforcement burials, as well as the customs you can expect if you are tasked with arranging the memorial of a fallen law enforcement officer.

Though law enforcement officers are often thought of as the guardians of people and property, they live and work as citizens of their respective communities. If the deceased officer made any final wishes, it is important to observe any last requests or specifications. Some law enforcement offices plan ahead for occasions such as these and ask each officer to specify exactly what they would like at their memorial services, including detailed information about music, religious affiliation, interment, and other details.

With the officer’s directives under consideration, the law enforcement department must consult the family. A family’s wishes outweigh the traditions of LEO burials, but most families choose to commemorate their loved ones’ service by implementing traditional components. There are designated departments and representatives that can handle various aspects of an officer’s burial. These departments can also arrange funeral locations, parking, and other services.

Military-style honors are available to fallen law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Casket watch is a responsibility that requires standing guard over the casket throughout the duration of a wake, viewing, or funeral. If you need help planning and coordinating the ceremonial aspects or logistics of the funeral, an honor guard can help. The honor guard includes casket watch, pallbearers, and the color guard, all of which require experience or training.

The typical religious service starts with an invocation. After any opening remarks, you can request special music or a reading of scripture. Most law enforcement burials feature several speakers that might include the mayor or another locally elected official, family representatives, and friends of the deceased. Speeches and eulogies can be made by the chief of police, dignitaries, or family members of the fallen officer. The clergy member may make closing remarks and end the funeral service with a prayer. Before it ends, however, some families arrange a ceremonious salute with bells or guns at the cemetery. Others arrange for bagpiping or the final radio call. The color guard retires the colors, and pallbearers remove the casket. There are a variety of ways to honor the life of a deceased officer, and we hope that this article provides the information you need to plan accordingly.