LANSING — State Rep. Bettie Cook Scott (D-Detroit) said today that she is considering legislation to assist police departments and police officers’ families with funeral costs for fallen officers. This comes after the Detroit Police Department lost one of its own this past weekend. Detroit Police Officer Glenn Anthony Doss passed away on Sunday, Jan. 28, after having been shot four days earlier while responding to a domestic violence call. As the city honors his memory and reflects on his service, Scott and others have begun to question why it is not a policy for the city or the police department to help with funeral costs.
“When our men and women in blue go to work every day, they do so knowing that they may not come home at night. But they do it anyway because they have been called to serve their community, just as Officer Doss was,” said Scott, who served as a Detroit police officer for 18 years before coming to the state Legislature. “The Detroit community and the family of Officer Doss deserves the chance to pay their respects and honor his memory at his funeral service, and putting that service together should not serve as yet another burden on Officer Doss’ family during this difficult time.”
While civilian funerals may draw crowds of 100 to 200 people, funeral services for fallen officers often attract thousands of community members and fellow officers to pay their respects and give their thanks to the fallen officer. Funeral costs can be unexpected and debilitating for surviving loved ones in any situation, however the cost of accommodating thousands for a service honoring a fallen police officer can be exorbitant. Mayor Mike Duggan and Deputy Mayor and Chief of Police James Craig are reportedly considering whether the city could assist with the funeral costs. The union that represents the city’s officers, the Detroit Police Officer’s Association, is also unable to help assist with funeral costs as it is not incorporated as a benevolent association.
“I struggle to understand why there is any question as to whether the city or the department can help pay for funeral costs for an officer that falls while in the line of duty,” Scott said. “That is why I have begun looking into legislation to help both the fallen officer’s family and the police departments to make funeral costs less onerous. We must do all we can to show our sincere gratitude and thanks for the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make to keep our communities safe.”