Medical Examiner : About Us
Forensic Pathology is a branch of
medicine that investigates death from a medicolegal perspective.
Duties of a Medical Examiner include determining the cause and manner of
death, authorization of cremation of decedent remains, testifying in criminal and
civil cases and working to ensure public safety and health.
The Mission of the Office of the Medical
Examiner is to provide medicolegal investigations into all deaths requiring a public
inquiry to determine and record the cause and manner of death for the families of
the decedent, and the legal and medical community so that they can effect a resolution
and have closure, affix responsibility, and protect public health and safety.
The Medical Examiner’s Office moved
into a new, state of the art facility in October of 2002.
This facility, known as the
Forensic Science Center, is nearly six times as large as its predecessor, a byproduct of over two decades
of rapid population growth in the county.
Some aspects of the new facility include:
1) Separate examination areas for suspected infectious disease cases or decomposed
remains, 2) A main examination suite that has ten exam stations with separate viewing
areas from which law enforcement personnel may witness the exams without being subjected
to potential biohazards from exposure to the exam area, 3) A cold storage for approximately
140 cases at a time, 4) Toxicological testing area designed for security and preservation
of the continuity of evidence, 5) Expansion laboratory space for trace evidence,
DNA and serology testing, 6) Emphasis upon an open environment with natural lighting
and glass walls throughout the facility, including within the main examination suite,
and 7) A private courtyard area where staff may relax or have lunch.
The OME is now housed in a facility that will be able to provide services to
for many years to come, despite burgeoning growth in the population of the area.