MAJOR NEEDS IN CORONER’S DEPARTMENT
An increase in the population of elderly citizens and Clark County’s burgeoning heroin epidemic have put a major strain on the county coroner’s office, Coroner Terry Conway said.
“Heroin is killing Clark County,” Conway said. “We’ve had a significant increase in overdoses this year, compared to the years I’ve researched in the past.
Conway says cases investigated by the coroner’s office have increased by 88.5 percent over this time last year. He appeared before the council to ask for additional funds to pay for autopsies, and said that there are eight autopsies that need to be paid for outstanding currently.
The coroner’s office currently pays $1,350 per autopsy and $255 per toxicology report.
“If the county keeps going like this, we’ll need a full-time coroner,” Conway said.
The council approved an appropriation of $3,405 from the county rainy day fund to pay for autopsies, but Conway will need to return next month to get the rest paid for.
The coroner’s office is just trying to make ends meet as it goes into the end of the year, Conway said. The office relies on five volunteers, who are only compensated for their fuel and other motor vehicle expenses, Conway said.