The Summit County Office of the Coroner announced Monday, March 24 it is accepting applications for the first Summit County Citizens Coroner Academy.
The academy is free, but space is limited to the first 15 interested Summit County participants, said Summit County chief deputy coroner Regan Wood, who landed grant funding to host the academy. Wood attended citizen police and fire academies in the past and said she’s been interested for a long time in hosting a similar event for local residents to teach them daily operations at the coroner’s office.
“I think it’s a topic people are interested in, especially with all of the crime scene investigation shows on T.V.,” Wood said. “Real life crime scene investigations aren’t that glamorous, but it’s a job I’m passionate about and I think there’s enough public interest to give this a shot.”
The academy is slated to run the month of May, with training sessions scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays at the High Country Training Center, 225 Summit County Road 1003 in Frisco. The first session begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 1.
The academy was formed as an educational and informational venture to provide a broad view of the many and varied duties of the coroner’s office. The course will cover a range of topics including death investigation techniques, determining cause and manner of death, notification of next of kin and working with and providing resources for the family, friends and survivors of expected and unexpected death in the community.
Among the instructors participating in the academy are personnel from local cooperating agencies, including backcountry coroner deputies, representatives from Summit Advocates for Victims of Assault and a local chaplain who will share his techniques for helping grieving families of victims of a crime or disaster, to name a few, Wood said.
The academy also will feature a tour of the Summit County Communications Center, before it is capped off with participants joining local law enforcement and public safety agencies for the Summit County Mass Disaster Exercise.
The coroner’s office will have a mobile crime lab stationed at the exercise, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 31, where academy participants will learn how to properly identify mock victims through DNA and finger printing, Wood said.
For more information, email Wood at ReganW@co.summit.co.us. Applications will be emailed to interested participants. The academy will be capped at 15 people.