UPDATE: El Paso Police Officer Killed in Traffic Accident During a Funeral Procession – Should Police Stop Doing Them?
The name of the officer killed while working a funeral procession Wednesday afternoon has been released. Officer Adrian Arellano was a 10 year veteran of the El Paso Police Department. Funeral arrangements for Officer Arellano are pending. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.
El Paso Sheriff Richard Wiles tried to ban officers working traffic control for funeral processions back in 2006, but was blocked by funeral directors and others. Now the question is back in the news. Should law enforcement work funeral processions?
It is traditional, but in this day and age with traffic the way it is, it is no longer feasible, or safe, for officers to stop traffic for funeral processions. People have GPS, and traffic and the size of the city no longer make it a simple drive five or ten minute drive to a cemetery. We need to keep our officers safe, and the public needs to obey them when they are directing traffic. This is a tradition whose time has passed.
The El Paso Police Department said one of their own was killed early Wednesday afternoon as he was providing traffic control for a funeral procession.
The unidentified officer was a 10-year-veteran of the department. He was at the intersection of Yarbrough and Edgemere around 2 o'clock this afternoon when a 54-year-old female driver disregarded the motorcycle officer directing a funeral procession. The woman t-boned the officer in the intersection. The officer was rushed to the hospital, but died later of his injuries.
The woman who was diving and another passenger in the vehicle were also taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Police have not said if the woman will face charges in the incident because they are still investigating. El Paso Police say it is important to obey all traffic laws and obey all directions officers give you while you are driving.
Our prayers and condolences go out to the family of the officer. We are very sorry for their loss.