Budget cuts affect Jefferson County Coroner

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County's financial troubles now impacting the county coroner's office. Budget cuts and thirty hour work weeks are now causing the county coroner's office to suffer.

The county medical examiner says his department is down to only one investigator per shift. Dr. Robert Brissie says more budget cuts will mean he will have eliminate what deaths his office can investigate. Traffic fatalities will be the first category of deaths to go. That means the coroner's office will not respond the scenes and other circumstances surrounding a person's death will go unknown.

"It would mean agencies in the jurisdiction of the accident would have to make arrangements to have bodies transported to an emergency room facility,"  says Dr. Robert Brissie.

If there are even more cuts, Dr. Brissie says after traffic deaths he will have to eliminate other categories of deaths his office can't investigate.