Requirements to be Mesa County Coroner
In the United States, death investigation is not uniform and there are varying systems. Some states are considered “Coroner states” where they have Coroners that are elected to their position. Other states are considered “Medical Examiner states” where the death investigation system is head by qualified forensic pathologists. Even other states have a mixed system comprised of Coroners and Medical Examiners. Most would agree the ideal system is the Medical Examiner system like what is done in states such as New Mexico and Utah. The Coroner system of death investigation can have its problems primarily due to the possibility of unqualified people being elected Coroner. Colorado is a “Coroner state” and each county has an elected Coroner. In essence, each county in Colorado has its own death investigation system and the quality of each counties system varies. To run for the elected position of Mesa County Coroner, one need only be over the age of 18 years old, be registered to vote in Mesa County and not be a felon. Mesa County was fortunate to have a highly qualified board-certified forensic pathologist as their elected Coroner (Dr. Havlik) before he was term limited from office at the beginning of 2019.