Update Spring 2011
Dr. Todd G Thoma, Coroner for Caddo Parish took office in March of 2008 and has made continuous strides in improving the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office. He is constantly updating the technology and making efforts to increase the knowledge and professionalism of his office and staff.
In October of 2009 Dr. Thoma and his staff of death investigators all passed the registry level certification for the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI). ABMDI is a voluntary national, not-for-profit, independent professional certification board that has been established to promote the highest standards of practice for medicolegal death investigators. It certifies individuals that have proven his/her skills and knowledge that is necessary to perform the task of death investigation. In 2005, this board was accredited by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board, which recognizes and monitors organizations or professional boards that certify individual forensic scientist or other forensic specialists. (http://medschool.slu.edu/abmdi/index.php)
In the past, the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office had contracted out transportation services to local transportation companies. In December of 2009, transportation services were incorporated into the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office. Two fully equipped transportation vans were purchased and put into service; which has resulted in improved service and a significant savings to the citizens of Caddo Parish.
Dr. Thoma has been designated as the Regional Coordinator for mass fatality planning for region VII in Louisiana (nine parishes). As such, the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office has been the recipient of two generous donations. Two refrigerated mass casualty trailers were donated to the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office. The first was donated by Willis Knighton Medical Centers and Hospital Preparedness for Louisiana Region VII. The second was donated by The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Shreveport Regional Metropolitan Medical Response System. Each trailer has the ability to be mobilized in case of a mass casualty incident and handle approximately 25 decedents per trailer.
In March of 2009 The Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana donated a $2.1 million building to Caddo Parish to house the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office. Doctors Austin Gleason, Lewis Jones, Jim Lillich, Mike Haney, David Waddell, Sonny Milstead, Pierce Nunley, and Steve Atchison were the donors. The building is located at 2900 Hearne Ave across the street from the main campus of Willis Knighton Medical Center. The building was renovated, and the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office moved in for daily operations on October 1, 2010. This beautiful building represents a permanent location for the Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office with room for future growth. Currently this building houses the coroner, death investigators, administrative staff, transportation services, and the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE). There is a large training room in this facility that allows medical students, nurses, hospital staff, as well as others to be trained in the latest techniques in forensic science, death investigation, and sexual assault investigation. Meetings are also held here to bring law enforcement agencies together for improved education and communication.
In the Works
Currently Dr. Todd G Thoma and staff are working with local computer software developers to develop a database and software that will allow law enforcement, hospitals, SAFEs and the coroner’s staff to work together more efficiently. The work is expected to be completed by Spring 2011.
We look forward to continuing to bring the best services and assistance to the community which we serve for years to come.
Update Fall 2009
The Caddo Parish Coroners Office is very pleased to launch a browser friendly website; just one of the Coroner’s Office many accomplishments.
Dr. Todd Thoma assumed the office of the Coroner in 2008 with the original office staff and he re-instated the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners. He began using local services for autopsies which has resulted in a savings of $538,000.00 over the past 17 months in autopsy and transportation cost. He also implemented electronic death records and incorporated software that simplifies the process of investigation reports and coroner emergency certificates. Old vehicles have been replaced with new ones and all of the investigators that are armed have obtained Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification. The staff is testing for board certification with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigation of St. Louis and anticipates that all of the staff will be certified by 2010. He has worked diligently with the North Louisiana Forensic Sciences Center Board of Directors to continue the progress for the new lab and has improved relations with local law enforcement agencies. A new building was acquired by the parish for the Coroners office in 2008 which is located on Hearne Avenue. The office plans to relocate to the new facility in 2010. While maintaining a high level of accomplishments, Dr. Thoma is very pleased to announce that no increase in the allocations from the Parish of Caddo and the City of Shreveport was requested for the 2010 budget year.
We are pleased to announce that as of December 3, 2009, all Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office Investigators are registered as American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators after passing National Certification Exams.
We do plan to keep you abreast of news worthy information and announcements. Please come back later for the most recent news release.