MURFEESBORO, TN (WSMV) – The Rutherford County Medical Examiner’s Office is seeking to hire two forensic death investigators, the county announced Wednesday.
MDIs will assist in the investigation of deaths reported to the Office of the Medical Examiner, particularly in the research, collection and documentation of circumstantial, historical and other relevant forensic data. Both of these will also help the medical examiner identify the deceased, determine the cause and manner of death, preserve evidence, and anticipate future questions.
Positions posted this week and interviews are expected to take place in mid-February with the expectation of hiring the first part of March.
Funding for both positions will come from the 2021 BJA FY21 Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program grant awarded to the department in December 2021.
The division received a total of $471,807 without obligation to support personnel costs, including salaries, benefits, equipment and other necessities.
“We are thrilled with the addition of both MDIs,” RCMEO/MDI Supervisor Denise Martin said in a press release, noting that those hired will be very busy during their work.
Martin said the new team members will implement a new comprehensive forensic death investigation case management system hosted by the State of Tennessee. The team will also form a comprehensive Rutherford County EMS/MEO Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Death Review Program comprised of multiple first responders, law enforcement and public health agencies, among other interested organizations. The team’s findings will not only help local agencies collect and share data, but they should also benefit other state, regional and federal partner agencies.
“This funding, we believe, shows the federal government’s recognition of the devastating impact of substance abuse in our community, but also recognizes that Rutherford County is committed to taking a proactive approach to addressing these issues,” said Martin.
“Expanding our division and creating the review program will help us better understand where we need to focus our efforts,” Martin said.
Martin said these reviews can help law enforcement partners gain useful information for investigations as they work to reduce the number of crimes and deaths associated with these substances, as well as to help medical and health-related partners guide recovery and prevention strategies.
The budget amendment for positions will be formally presented to the Budget and Finance Committee on February 3 and to the full Rutherford County Commission for approval on February 17.
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