As primary election day nears, Michael Wilson is hoping that his years of service to the community, his career, and his compassion for people will earn him the title of Kosciusko County Coroner.
Since 1994, Wilson has served as a deputy coroner under former coroner Larry Ladd and current coroner John Sadler while working full-time on the Warsaw Fire Department as fire marshal. Now working full-time at McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel, Wilson promises to continue providing care and compassion to families dealing with deaths of loved ones.
According to Wilson, while the job of coroner is not full-time, he would treat it as a full-time career and says he would seldom have to rely on a deputy to perform the coroner’s duties. “I’ve been working toward this goal since 2010 and I’m not tied to a location. I can be on most any scene within 15 to 20 minutes which is important to not only the families, but to the dignity of the victims,” he says. “I have a history in dealing with people who are having a bad day. It’s about caring and having compassion and that is something I will make sure is provided to families.”
As a deputy coroner, Wilson is a certified Medicolegal Death Investigator through the state of Indiana. He has also attended between 40 percent and 60 percent of all death calls in the county each year. That’s more than any other deputy coroner.
Since 1975 Wilson was worked as a military police officer, a fire marshal and as a fire investigator. “I’ve always worked on investigation scenes,” he explains. “It’s been my goal for many years to work with families. My whole career gleaned toward this.”
Wilson has plans to improve the efficiency of the coroner’s office by also having a transport vehicle driven to each scene by a deputy. “It’s so I can get to the scene faster and it can be done by not raising the budget,” he says.
Additionally, being located in the center of Kosciusko County, Leesburg resident Wilson believes location is an important issue for the coroner. “I’m not stuck in the northern or southern parts of the county which would delay response times. But,” he adds, “I would like to appoint a deputy for the southern part of the county so that we would always be able to meet that 15 to 20 minute response time.”
Wilson applauds Multi-Township EMS for the care and compassion the medics provide to families and victims, but he understands that “no one wants to deal with death” so bringing more training to those individuals who work with families is something he will bring to the office of coroner. He also has plans to appoint a medical liaison to bring even better cooperation between the agencies.
The current deputy coroner sees the responsibilities of the coroner as the first person called to investigate unattended, suspicious and traumatic deaths within the county limits, and to oversee and assist local, county and state law enforcement with the investigation into a death. He is also adamant that correct answers are gathered to be able to determine, with or with out an autopsy, the cause and manor of death, and to provide correct information to medical personnel and health officials of all deaths within the jurisdictional area.
“I plan on further establishing a means of education for law enforcement, fire officials and emergency medical personnel pertaining to death scene investigations; to ensure the members of the office have the opportunity for continual education, to work with all emergency services personnel in aspects of continual education involving death scene investigations, to always have available, primarily myself and/or a certified deputy investigator available to the public and emergency services 24 hours a day,” he says.
“The goal of the office is to have representation of the coroner’s office on scene, or in communications with the officers, emergency services personnel at the scene within twenty minutes from time of request.” Wilson adds, “At this time, I do not plan on removing any deputies / investigators of our office, as they have all dedicated time and experience to our office and our community.”
Wilson is challenged in the race by Syracuse Police Chief Tony Ciriello and emergency medical technician Carl Saint.