Coroner’s office seeing record case numbers, needing supplies
The Pulaski County Coroner’s Office has been busy with cases and trying to make ends meet as there is a lack of equipment and supplies.
Pulaski County Chief Deputy Coroner Jon Frain approached the county commissioners and county council during a joint session June 5 regarding the activities that are happening with the coroner’s office and what is to come.
Of the numerous items Frain addressed, one of the big topics was the coroner’s office obtaining a facility and some basic business equipment.
Currently, the coroner’s office doesn’t have an office where employees can speak with the families of the deceased. At times, those in the coroner’s office are meeting with the families in the sally port of the sheriff’s office or in the basement of the justice center. A new location would also help provide better security.
The coroner’s office is using Frain Mortuary to conduct some of the business such as autopsies. If the county continues to use the mortuary, a contract must be signed due to liability insurance. Council president Jay Sullivan suggested that the county attorney review the contract and commissioner Jerry Locke said it could be voted on at the next commissioners’ meeting.
Another concern of Frain’s, is the lack of supplies and equipment that the coroner’s office has. He used the example that the office lacks a computer and printer. Frain said the former information technology director was trying to help Behny and Frain with a county email address before the information technology director resigned.
Frain said the coroner’s office has been busy since the beginning of the year with 20 calls. Only one of the calls involved a person who was on hospice care and should have been a doctor call, not the coroner’s office.
Councilman Ken Boswell asked what the coroner’s budget looks like for this year and the next. Frain said when the coroner’s budget was approved last year, there was an increase made to the autopsy and toxicology line item. If the number of autopsies continues, it could cause a shortage in funds by the end of the year.
Boswell said he wants to ensure the office is thinking to next year when they have an office.
Frain said every year they budget for office supplies and every year the county absorbs it because the coroner’s office doesn’t have a facility.