State Sen. Clark Jolley said news that the cooler had broken down at the state medical examiner’s office was just one of many examples of why it was crucial to move forward with plans to construct a new facility. The breakdown meant having to transfer 28 bodies to two refrigerated trucks.
“The cooler is more than forty years old, and a spokesperson was hoping they could find the part they needed to repair it,” said Jolley, R-Edmond. “I cannot imagine how distressed my family and I would be if that was one of our loved ones. It is important to remember that the work the M.E.’s office does impacts people’s lives, whether it is a family looking for answers or law enforcement looking for clues that will help them solve a crime. We have a responsibility to ensure the accuracy and integrity of this process with modern facilities and equipment.”
Jolley said a proposed bond package would provide the funding necessary to construct a new facility to be located at the University of Central Oklahoma, giving the medical examiner’s staff access to state of the art equipment and enabling the agency to receive national accreditation. The proposed building has been criticized by some as an inappropriate use of bonding ability for higher education institutions. Jolley said the facility would in fact be an asset for the university and its students.
“When you look at the partnership between the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and UCO in developing the Forensic Science Institute, you can see the incredible benefits it has provided to not only forensic investigations in our state, but to students who can now pursue a master’s degree in the field,” Jolley said. “I believe constructing this much-needed facility for the Medical Examiner’s office holds tremendous potential for the public, for law enforcement and for education.”
“Given this latest problem with the M.E.’s office, it would be a travesty if political posturing prevented Oklahoma from being able to move forward with this greatly-needed facility,” Jolley said.