At times there have been funeral processions which are accompanied by an especially large contingent of friends of the deceased. It might have been a dignitary, perhaps a community leader.
It is not uncommon for a police agency to provide a motorcade escort for such an event. This is done not only out of respect to the family of the deceased but to ensure a safe way through busy intersections for those in the motorcade.
That said, I must question the circumstances surrounding such an event in Secaucus recently. Attempting to exit Secaucus, Eastbound on Paterson Plank Road near Plaza Center I found myself along with a number of others sitting in traffic for no clearly obvious reason.
It appears that members of the Hudson County Sherriff’s Department had stopped traffic on one of the most highly traveled roads in town, both directions, in front of Immaculate Conception Church while a hearse, parked at the curb, received its coffin. After its departure traffic was again permitted to move.
The Sherriff’s Department vehicles, three marked cruisers and a Sherriff’s Department motorcycle proceeded to once again block traffic at major intersections so that this hearse, which apparently was not accompanied by the cars of family members, flower car or any hint of caring friends was able to go through red light intersections.
Everyone was forced off the main traffic lanes of the roadway and when, as I observed, a motorist dared attempt to pass in the exit lane for Route 3 East near Home Depot he was stopped by an rather irate motorcycle officer for daring to move ahead of the one hearse “motorcade” even though he was exiting that roadway away from the direction of travel of the hearse.
Who was this poor soul who went the graveyard seemingly friendless? How is it that a single hearse with no motorcade of the bereaved requires that the taxpayers of Hudson County pay four deputies to escort a lone hearse to the bone yard?
Why was it necessary that traffic be stopped in the center of town for five or ten minutes so that a coffin might be placed in a hearse parked curbside? How many times have motorists driven past I.C.C. under similar circumstances with no need to do more than maybe slow down a little?
Oddly when I posted a much shorter version of this issue on a well known New Jersey message board on the Secaucus Forum it was deleted in short order, three times. This is mystery which perhaps Al Sullivan, a man with his hand on the pulse of Hudson County politics might explain.