The Clark County Coroner's Office is responsible for conducting medicolegal death investigations. The initial report is the responsibility of the Coroner Investigator. Currently there is one Coroner Investigative Forensic Supervisor, twenty full-time Coroner Investigators and five part-time Investigators that respond throughout the Las Vegas valley. There is also one part-time Investigator that handles the southern portion of Clark County, which encompasses the Laughlin and Searchlight areas.
Coroner Investigators work closely with the forensic pathologists to determine jurisdiction on deaths that are reported to the coroner's office. They are responsible for gathering as much medical history and information as possible for each case, as well as being the initial point of contact for family members. Coroner Investigators also play a key role in the identification of decedents, working with law enforcement agencies and medical professionals to locate fingerprints and x-rays for comparison with unidentified individuals.
The Forensic Division is comprised of four full-time Medical Examiners and additional Locum Tenens, all of whom are forensic pathologists. There is one Forensic Investigative Supervisors, one Senior Forensic Pathology Technician, six full-time Forensic Pathology Techs, nine part-time Forensic Pathology Techs, three full-time Forensic Assistants and three part-time Forensic Assistants. Each day a forensic team of two to three forensic pathologists and three to four Forensic Pathology Techs examine cases from the previous 24 hours.
The forensic team evaluates and examines an average of 10 to 15 cases per day. All cases are examined, but not all are autopsied. Decisions to autopsy are based on all pertinent information surrounding the case, Nevada Revised Statutes and County ordinances. Forensic pathologists evaluate information gathered by our Coroner Investigators and determine what cases will be autopsied. Forensic staff members take x-rays and fingerprints for every case, if viable. For the majority of cases, this entire process will be completed in one day.
The current Administration Department is comprised of one Office Services Supervisor, four full-time Office Specialists, one Financial Office Specialist and seven part-time Office Assistants. Administration personnel are responsible for assisting the families of decedents and members of the general public by answering questions and disclosing as much information as office policy allows. Connecting the Administration and Forensic Divisions are two full-time and three part-time Forensic Medical Transcriptionists. These individuals transcribe all exam tapes that are dictated by the Medical Examiners.
Case files and report management also falls under the duties of administrative staff. All case files are retained pursuant to a record retention requirement. When that time period has been met, records are electronically scanned and hard copies are destroyed. Electronic copies are maintained indefinitely. The administrative property custodian inventories any personal effects impounded from a scene or a decedent and releases them to the legal next-of-kin once they are cleared for release. Once the cause and manner of death of an individual have been determined, an administrative staff member completes the death certificate and sends it to the Office of Vital Statistics for registration and dissemination.