Coroner & Law Enforcement Scene Cooperation | CT4

Crime-scene-cooperation-coroner-policeIt is clear that coroners have crime scene jurisdiction. But what happens when a lay person gets elected to the office of coroner and had no crime scene training. What is local law enforcement supposed to do ?What are Coroners supposed to do when the local law enforcement won’t recognize their authority?

The Office of the Coroner is the oldest administrative office of government. The coroner is responsible for the investigation and certification of cause and manner of deathThe county coroner is notified when a death warrants investigation and works in conjunction with the police authorities to investigate deaths of a violent nature or unnatural cause (accident, homicide, suicide). Some states require coroners to be notified of all deaths, including natural. When the dead body of a person is found or lying within the county, the coroner will immediately go to the place where the body is and make a preliminary investigation.

The coroner, having viewed the body, will investigate the facts concerning the death. An inquest is a formal hearing into the cause and circumstances of any death resulting from a violence of occurring under conditions which give reason to suspect that the death may have been due to a criminal act or criminal negligence. The hearing is conducted to make a formal determination of the cause and manner of death to allow for further legal proceedings. Although the coroner has the power of subpoena and may compel the attendance of any witness at an Open Inquest, the coroner is not a judicial office and the coroner’s verdict is not admissible in civil suit. As soon as the coroner completes the investigation and the cause and manner of death has been determined, he/she files the death certificate with the local registrar (municipal or county clerk), who certifies the record.

Other Responsibilities

The coroner’s office is a law enforcement agency and the coroner is a law enforcement official. The coroner severs as the conservator of the peace in his county and has the same powers and is liable to the same penalties as the sheriff. Where the office of the sheriff or under sheriff is vacant, the coroner performs all duties of the sheriff until another qualified sheriff is elected or appointed. The coroner also acts as the warden of the jail in the event the sheriff may be imprisoned in the county jail of his own county.

No Problem

It is clear that coroners have crime scene jurisdiction. But what happens when a lay person gets elected to the office of coroner and had no crime scene training. What is local law enforcement supposed to do ?What are Coroners supposed to do when the local law enforcement won’t recognize their authority?

THE SHOW

We talk about these topics and more on this episode of Coroner Talk. The guest today is Jim Akers of Butler County Missouri..

Links from todays show.

Illinois Coroner Law Suit: http://www.coronersillinois.org/anderson-lawsuit

Jim Akers email: butlercountycoroner@gmail.com

Phone 573-686-7884

Chief Supply Link: coronertalk.com/gear

About the Author
Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy, has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

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