Pennsylvania County To Arm Coroner’s Deputies, Plans Training

posted on August 18, 2016

Deputy coroners in Pennsylvania’s Washington County will soon be carrying handguns when sent to the scenes of fatalities, as authorities fear that many of those situations could lead to further violence and mayhem, the Uniontown Herald-Standard reports.

Coroner Timothy Warco, who has carried a firearm for decades, noted that he and his deputies were sent to 73 drug-overdose deaths last year, many of which involved heroin, where individuals “are concerned not so much about the deceased, but about where the drugs are hidden.” In addition, he said, they had also been dispatched to homicides where “crowds of rowdy, intoxicated people” present a threat to officials. 

So, at Warco’s request, county commissioners have approved firearm training for both of his deputies. Meanwhile, coroners’ deputies in neighboring Westmoreland County—who had reported feeling endangered on the job, particularly when making death notifications—have been armed while on duty for nearly three years.

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