The Bannock County Coroner is statutorily obligated to investigate and determine the cause and manner in all deaths that are unattended, accidental, violent in nature, suspicious, or in the death of a child. Our investigations are parallel to but separate from the law enforcement investigation. This last year, this office has investigated homicides, suicides, infant death, officer-involved shootings, in-custody death, tender-age suicides, COVID deaths, overdose-related deaths, and conducted a disinterment for an investigation.
As your County Coroner, I wish to share my first year in review with you. I was sworn in as your County Coroner on August 3rd, 2021. Since I took office, my focus has been to build the proper foundation to prioritize transparency, education, and community partnership within my office.
Our first big move was to relocate our office from the basement of the Bannock County Elections Office to 5500 South 5th to provide better public accessibility. As an elected official, I believe my staff and I should be accessible to the people we serve. We wanted to have a place where we could meet with families to discuss information that may be personal and private while answering any questions they may have. Please know our office is available should you request information about the operations of this office or if you have any suggestions about how we could better serve you.
The Idaho Association of County Coroners (IACC) aims to standardize medicolegal death investigations throughout the state. As a member who sits on the IACC Education Committee, it is important to me to take a leadership role in advancing our education in this office. My Chief Deputy and I recently became American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) certified. We are the first in our County to have this certification, which will now be the standard for our office. Bannock County was also the first site of a regional training program for the IACC to assist in further continuing education in rural counties.
Since my time in office, I have built and strengthened relationships with our law enforcement community and County prosecutors. In the Coroner’s Office, we rarely get the opportunity to be proactive. With the opioid epidemic on our doorstep, our area has been flooded with drugs, resulting in an increase in drug-related deaths. For this reason, we have a HIDTA task force, a multi-agency federal task force created to combat drugs in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). As a member of this task force, I authorize the autopsy in drug-related death investigations to assist in securing federal prosecution.
In the evolution of this office, we have several notable changes.
· Previously, we contracted transportation to autopsy through funeral homes. In the interest of fiscal responsibility and self-sufficiency, we have secured our own transportation.
· The seal of this office was re-designed because the old logo was the same as other agencies. This original design is a better representation of our county.
· We now use updated equipment such as mobile tablets, digital measuring devices, digital temp guns, proper PPE, and gear bags to organize and increase efficiency.
· All cases are now paperless and secured electronically to decrease the cost associated with producing and storing paper files.
· We are on track to secure a Mobile Morgue trailer in Bannock County while taking a leadership role in our region in creating a deployable asset during a potential mass-casualty situation.
I appreciate your support and I welcome any suggestions on how my office can better serve you in the future.
Coroner Torey Danner