Chicago-area officials trying to prevent funerals for gang members from turning into shootouts say the issue has gotten so far "out of control" that one cemetery has started hiring off-duty police officers.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart met Thursday with political, religious, and funeral industry leaders to discuss the problem following a funeral procession in December that was marred by gunfire.

"It's getting out of control, it really is," Hillside Police Chief Joseph Lukaszek told FOX 32. "The gangs just think that it's a safe haven for them and they do whatever they want to do."

Dart – who hopes to come up with proposals ready to be put into action by May – says the shootings have been escalating "over the last 10 to 15 years from where it was not much of a problem… to now it occurs more frequently."

He said that at least one cemetery has been hiring off-duty officers whenever a gang member is set to be buried.