The Tooele City Council approved an amending ordinance last week that clarifies Tooele City code regarding funeral processions.
Ordinance 2016-22 prohibits organized funeral processions except for those “conducted by Tooele City, for specific occasions, and with the aid of the Tooele City Police Department.”
Tooele City Attorney Roger Baker explained to the council on Dec. 7 that the city’s existing ordinance is “antiquated and doesn’t function very well.” He said formal funeral processions may have been the norm many years ago, but patrons at funeral homes today are advised to obey traffic laws as they drive to the cemetery.
Furthermore, he said to allow funeral home staff or citizens to help direct traffic on public streets during funeral processions is dangerous.
The amending ordinance stipulates that only the City “may close or limit access to public rights-of-way using police officers for funeral processions involving fallen police officers, fallen firefighters, fallen soldiers, elected or appointed officials who die in office, and individuals who have served Tooele City with distinction, such as former elected officials.”
Baker said Tooele City Police Chief Ron Kirby and Tate Mortuary were consulted in the process of drafting the amending ordinance. He added Tate Mortuary expressed appreciation for the city clarifying when a formal funeral procession is and is not allowed.
The council unanimously approved the ordinance.