October 17, 2012

Coroner candidates respond to questions

— Incumbent Republican George Franklin is facing a challenge from Democrat Randy Rozzi in the race for Cass County coroner.

The Pharos-Tribune posed two questions to the candidates. The questions and their responses follow:

What do you see as the issues in this campaign?

Franklin: There are several issues that will be facing the next coroner. I believe there will continue to be budget issues. While I don’t believe these issues will be as severe as they have been in the past, I think that it is very important that the coroner have the experience that is needed to meet the needs of the citizens of Cass County while being able to maintain a realistic budget. The coroner will have to be able to maintain the level of service the citizens of Cass County have grown to expect, while working with an ever-shrinking budget.

A coroner must be caring and compassionate. The coroner must have patience’s and understanding when dealing with surviving family members in difficult and trying times.

The coroner must maintain a caring and compassionate staff.  He and his staff must be well trained. Continuing education is extremely important.

Rozzi: As a candidate seeking this office, I can only state that being available when requested and working well with local law enforcement agencies are very important issues that have been brought to my attention during this campaign. The coroner should further assist the deceased family members by answering questions promptly and giving proper assistance when requested. I plan on addressing these issues by being on the death scene and assisting in any shape, manner or form when requested by law enforcement agencies and being a professional, compassionate, respectful and dignified individual who will do my best to resolve any unforeseen issues that may occur.

Why should voters choose you?

Franklin: I am the only certified candidate running for Cass County Coroner. I am certified as a Medical Legal Death Investigator in the state of Indiana. I am a member of both the Indiana and Michigan Coroners association.

I have over 200 hours of certified training as a Medical Legal Death Investigator. As a 23 year veteran of the Logansport Police Department and, having served four years as your Cass County Coroner I have investigated over 200 deaths.

I will continue to require all staff to remain up to date in the latest training criteria and investigation skills.

Death is not an easy subject to talk about.  That is why people skills are extremely important. I have the people skills that are needed.  In addition, I am a caring and compassionate person and have the patience that is needed to deal with these difficult situations.

I have added five certified deputy coroners who are also certified as Medical Legal Death Investigators.  This brings a total of six certified Deputy Coroners in Cass County.  I have been able to do this while working well within the approved budget. I have in fact returned at least 25 percent of the approved budget two out of the last three years.  It appears that I will again return approximately 25 percent of my budget this year.

I am asking for your vote to re-elect me as your Cass County Coroner so that I may continue to serve the citizens of Cass County.

Rozzi: During my 21 years on the Logansport Police Department with 7 years being a detective and crime scene investigator along with 5 years as police chief, I worked numerous death investigations. I stated to my wife on several occasions I would like to be coroner some day as I felt it was important to be able to come to a conclusion on a cause/manner of death which may give closure to family members. I also enjoyed being a public servant for the citizens of Logansport and would like again to serve all of Cass County as your next coroner.

I feel I am the best candidate for coroner due to the experience I have obtained through the years while being on the Logansport Police Department which again included 7 years as a detective and crime scene investigator along with advanced training regarding death investigations. This training included week long seminars in Chicago and Indianapolis that strictly covered death investigations. Two very important things I have never forgotten from these seminars were that “things are not always as they seem to be and that we work for God.” I feel I am a professional, compassionate, respectful and dignified individual that can handle the type of situations that may occur while holding this office.