HAMPDEN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM)- Charles Hall has been the Cumberland County coroner for 10 years. In that time, his office has seen a big increase in death investigations with 1,376 cases last year alone.
“In 2012, when I became coroner, we had 242 cases for the whole year. I am already at 823 for this year. We will break last year’s record easily,” said Hall.
What is causing the increase? Cumberland County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state by population, plus the county now has four hospitals.
“Most people don’t realize if someone gets flown into one of our hospitals and they die, here it’s my case,” said Hall.
The increase in cases means overtime for Hall’s 11 full-time deputy coroners. While they are keeping up right now, Hall is worried that delays could emerge if changes aren’t made.
“The families of the deceased deserve closure, they deserve the best investigation, and the best services possible,” said Hall.
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Hall says more staff would help and so would Cumberland County getting its own autopsy facility, instead of having to use Dauphin County’s autopsy facility.
“We pay Dauphin County anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 a year to use their facility,” said Hall.
Hall would like to put an autopsy facility in the building where his office is now, on Basehore Road in Hampden Township. The county does not own the building, but it is expected to go up for sale.
“We are working on that and hopefully we will get a resolution in the next 6 to 8 months,” said Hall.