By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Mobile Police Department announced that the funeral of slain Police Officer Justin Billa will be held Tuesday at Cottage Hill Baptist Church.
Public visitation will take place at 8:30 a.m. with a funeral service will follow at 10 a.m.
Officer Billa will be laid to rest at Mobile Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Since Billa collected police patches as a hobby, the Mobile Police Department is asking for all visiting law enforcement agencies to bring a police patch to the funeral so that they can be displayed to treasure the memory of Billa.
Those unable to attend the funeral service but wish to offer condolences may stop by the Mobile Police Department Headquarters located at 2460 Government Blvd. beginning this Friday to sign the Memorial Book for Officer Billa.
A Memorial Fund has been set up for the family of Billa. Officer Billa was killed in the line of duty last week while working a homicide investigation.
Billa had served with the Mobile Police Department since January 2016. He leaves behind a wife and 1-year-old son.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to Officer Justin Billa’s family, the Mobile Police Department and to the all of the people of Mobile,” Senate President Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said. “This tragedy is another reminder of the danger our police and first responders face every day and the bravery that inspires us to do all that we can to support them.”
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 192, sponsored by Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo, that would allow the underaged children of first responders who were killed in the line of duty to receive workmen’s comp survivor’s benefits until they turn 18.
Under current Alabama law they max out after 10 years. Billa’s son will be only 11 when the benefits would expire. The bill would allow the widow of a fallen officer to continue to receive survivor’s benefits even if she remarries. That legislation now goes to the Senate.
The Mobile Police Department also announced the procession route for Officer Billa, which will follow the funeral service.
Leaving Cottage Hill Baptist Church located at 4255 Cottage Hill Road, the procession will travel east on Cottage Hill Road turning right onto Azalea Road, from Azalea Road to Highway 90 turning right onto Highway 90. The procession will then travel west on Highway 90 to Three Notch Road and then to the entrance of Mobile Memorial Gardens located at 6100 Three Notch Road.
The Mobile Police Department thanks the citizens of Mobile in advance for their patience, as the procession of possibly hundreds of vehicles will cause traffic delays. However, the public is encouraged to line the route to show their support and give their respects to the family of Officer Billa.