The PSU routinely provides escort services for funerals in Cleveland and Bradley County.
Mark Grissom, owner of Grissom Funeral Home, said, “I have the deepest, most sincere appreciation for the men of the Public Service Unit and for the assistance they provide us in funeral escorts. Many other communities in our area have stopped providing this service, but thanks to our Sheriff Jim Ruth, Cleveland has continued to provide these services.”
The PSU was established in June 2007 when a casual conversation between Jim Flanary, then a city employee, and Sheriff Tim Gobble, touched on the topic of how to better serve the county. There was a city unit at the time, but they could not operate in the county. The idea of a PSU that could operate in both the county and the city was discussed, and several months later the new unit became a reality.
Flanary was selected as the coordinator. “A large percentage of funerals at the time were outside the city and we felt that the citizens of the county should have similar services,” he said.
The PSU is made up of 10 men dedicated to serving the public. In 2013, this group has conducted 101 funeral escorts, 174 doors have been unlocked, and 14 cars were boosted. The total amount of hours of service to the community to date has been 1,968.
Sheriff Jim Ruth said, “I’ve been a police officer for 41 years in Cleveland and Bradley County and the Public Service Unit has been around in some form. The men that make up the PSU do a wonderful job in assisting the community. I have no intention of cutting these essential services.”
The donation by Grissom Funeral Home to the PSU will fund the annual holiday dinner for family and friends.
Grissom said, “We are very thankful for the men that provide this valuable service to our community. It’s clear to me that they all have serving hearts.”