Will mayors change the status quo of providing funeral escorts, or is it a time for change?  Village leaders during today’s Mayors' Council of Guam meeting are sharing concern that they may not be able to keep up the service for much longer. 

Will they or won’t they? The council once again revisited whether they should be responsible for providing funeral escorts. Inalahan mayor Anthony Chargualaf said, “Maybe it’s just high time now that the funeral home takes full ownership and gets a full-fledged security company to do these funeral escorts for them.” 

It’s a service mayors say they typically provide, sometimes even back-to-back and outside of their respective villages - unlike the Guam Police Department, which charges $43 per officer/hour. And at a rate of $86 for a full day, mayors offer the service free of charge. 

Leaders agreed during today’s MCOG meeting the service can become a liability and is straining on their limited resources.  Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon Mayor Louise Rivera shared, “We’re short-staffed, our vehicles are terrible -  it might break down. I mean, what if it breaks down during an escort? Our staff have to be pulled away whenever we do a project.”

It’s a heartbreaking thing to consider stopping.

Others, like Ordot-Chalan Pago Mayor Jessy Gogue posed an alternative strategy, saying, “Assessing a fee - I mean, really, that’s what it boils down to; it’s unfortunate that we’re having to even consider this. Especially during their time of grief.” 

Now, the council is proposing a survey with two options to choose from: either no escort at all or a one-way transfer. The mayors will again discuss the issue during their next meeting in April. 

For now, mayors still have the choice to provide funeral escort services.