» Wrote, updated, improved, and implemented policies and procedures for the coroner’s office
» Developed policies and procedures during Covid19 Pandemic
» Obtained new equipment within the office to promote efficiency and safety
» Updated employees salaries based on an Equity Analysis
» Awarded for exceptional professionalism and selfless conduct at an I-70 crash scene
» Assured that all staff have CJIS certifications and that most obtain the ABMDI certifications
» Applied and received several grants to help with costs of toxicology of opioid overdoses
» Managed the new cooler system expansion in the building
» Tightened security in the medication/property/evidence room
» Provided staff with approximately two years of Hazard pay
» Installed safety features such as door bell ring on the back dock, cameras
» Pagers removed, phones through the county for the death notifications
Basic Info about the office:
• Jefferson County Coroner’s office is here 24/7, 365 to meet the needs of the county
• We assist approximately 10 other small counties also with needed services.
• We receive 911 dispatch calls and respond to the scenes, along with law enforcement, fire department, EMS and rescue teams.
• We receive calls from Hospitals, Hospices, Care centers, Assisted-living centers, Long-term care facilities with reports of deaths, which can add up to all calls being over 25 or more a day on average.
• We conduct a specific type of investigation for each death,
• We are required to respond to certain scenes, for example an unattended death at a home, a motor vehicle accident, a crime scene, a hospital, or any other scenes required by law. These scenes will have a comprehensive investigation, which is completed by the Coroner Investigator who responded and attended the scene.
• We respond out to the county for calls, covering 774 square miles,
• We are the 4th most Populous County in Colorado with over 582,000 citizens,
• We are the “2nd busiest Coroner Office” in Colorado!!
• We testify in court cases, respond to subpoena’s, legal requests, CORA requests, media requests, and collaborate with service contractors,
• We work daily with the District Attorney’s office, the Sheriff Department, the Police, Fire and EMS services of each city and unincorporated areas located within the county,
• We work with Donor Alliance and Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank, and the Coroner must approve any organ and tissue donations from registered donors,
• We spend many hours talking to families and providing information and are known for our compassion and empathy regarding their loss,
• We provide the citizens with an In-person response for notification of death of their loved one, which is unique to our Jeffco office.
• We handle over 1500 Death Certificates a year, completing and signing them, and placing in the EDR system.
• We have an in-office audit process in place to triple check our work!
My most asked question: Why is the Coroner position Elected?
First a little history. The coroner elections began with medieval English common law, where the job of the coroner was to determine how and when people had died so that taxes could be collected properly. The system worked for a while, but it is different now. We have a big shortage of Board-Certified Forensic Pathologists in the US (roughly 500 and the average age is 52). It is possible for the coroner to be a BC Forensic Pathologist also, however with not enough to go around, the coroner system was created to address that issue.
In Colorado, there are 64 counties.The BC Forensic Pathologists are spread thin across the states, and Jefferson County is fortunate to have two working in our office.
My second most asked question:Can you really arrest the Sheriff?
I believe that is true….I can officially arrest the Sheriff, per the State Statutes. In Colorado, the Coroner has the same powers as a county sheriff to execute arrest warrants and to serve process and is the only county official empowered to arrest the Sheriff. When the Sheriff is for any cause committed to the jail of their county, the Coroner shall be keeper of such jail during the time the Sheriff remains prisoner. Also, if the sheriff becomes incapacitated, the Coroner is who assumes the role of sheriff and any other roles they hold in their duties, mainly because of the law enforcement nature of the coroner’s work and the fact that we are both elected officials.
You can find more info here in the Colorado State Statutes: https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2018-title-30.pdf
Below are the requirements to be a Coroner within Colorado:
Other requirements are fulfilled after elected including taking Coroner training and becoming certified as a Medicolegal Death Investigator by the Colorado Coroners Association. The Colorado Nurses Association developed and pushed through that legislation.
I have been working hard towards this campaign and need your help to make sure I can be an effective leader for all of us! To do this, I must reach Voters! Every dollar you contribute will help fund this effort! Don’t let my opponents outraise me!!