Local medical examiner's office disscusion and research continues

POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 5:26pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

BRYAN -- Whether you need an autopsy to determine the cause of death or to collect evidence for a trial, two things are for certain, autopsies aren't cheap and you can't find the service in the Brazos Valley but plans are underway to try and change that.

Autopsies are expensive enough but when you have to send a body hundreds of miles away to be examined, the cost really starts to add up.

"Over $2,000 per autopsy that Brazos County has paid on average for the last five years and that's a lot of money to do over 100 autopsies a year," said Michael Parks with the Brazos Valley Council of Governments.

Today members of the Brazos Valley Council of Governments met with local law enforcement officers, county judges and district attorneys to discuss the possibility of having their own examiner.

"I think there's guarded optimism that the economy of scales that can be brought together for a regional medical examiner's office would save our counties money over the long-haul," said Parks. "That's the reason we're doing this."

Right now bodies are sent either to Austin, Houston or Dallas and College Station Assistant Police Chief Larry Johnson says having an examiner's office in Bryan-College Station would be much more beneficial.

"They would get more familiar with our offices and what our prosecutors office would be expecting. And from a testimony standpoint, we'll be more familiar with their level of expertise and their level of training so to me that would be a great benefit to having one locally."

The council plans to continue these discussions and research to see if the start-up and operating costs of an office here locally would be less than what the counties are already paying to travel elsewhere for the exam.

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