Police Chief: We Will No Longer Honor Officers Who Die Off-Duty With Formal Funerals

September 4, 2021

By Corinne Murdock |

Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri Williams determined that police who die off-duty won’t have formal funeral arrangements. The police chief issued the policy announcement through a memo letter to city staff on Monday.

Phoenix City Council member Sal DiCiccio criticized the policy last week, days prior to Williams issuing the memo.

“DISTURBING: Chief Williams has really lost her way with the rank and file to placate the crazy anti-police crowd,” wrote DiCiccio. “We were notified early this morning that funerals for our brave police officers who die on duty are treated differently than those that are off duty. Seriously?”


DiCiccio told AZ Free News that this latest decision was yet another mistreatment of officers.

“What Phoenix is doing is BS. We have rising crime rates, can’t patrol our streets effectively – all because we don’t have enough cops – and Phoenix politicians are making it worse by constantly attacking Phoenix PD. They don’t even want to honor them with a proper funeral. It’s absurd,” stated DiCiccio.

The memo is reproduced in its entirety below:

The following memo addresses recent concerns related to notification of Police non-line of duty deaths. Based on research conducted by the Phoenix Police Department it has been determined that no written policy exists regarding non-line of duty death notifications. Instead, it has been the department’s longstanding practice to only formally notify City Council and City Management of line-of-duty deaths. Non-line of duty death notifications have been much less formal and not consistent. Therefore, I am establishing a formal written process from this point forward to ensure that information is provided consistently to all members of management and elected leadership for both line of duty and non-line of duty deaths and funeral services.

To effectively address the concerns referenced above, I am instructing the City Manager Liaison (Commander) to notify the Mayor, City Councilmembers, City Manager, and Assistant City Manager upon learning of a current police employee’s death.

Line of Duty Death: Line of Duty deaths have very formal programs for involvement of Police and City leadership. The City Manager Liaison will work with the Police Department’s Employee Assistance Unit (EAU) and provide funeral arrangement notification to the Mayor, City Councilmembers, and City management for Line of Duty deaths of current police employees as soon as possible. This will include funeral and viewing information, dignitary seating, and logistics notifications.

Non-Line of Duty Deaths: The Police Department’s Employee Assistance Unit often assists with Non-Line of Duty deaths of current police employees. Once advised by EAU, the City Manager will notify the Mayor, City Councilmembers, and City management of the non-line of duty death. Recognizing that each funeral service is different, the Department will make every attempt to support the wishes of a deceased employee’s family for public involvement in the funeral services.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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