Thomas Weldon, candidate for Coroner

Posted

Party: Republican

City: Lakewood

Profession: Medicolegal Death Investigator

Campaign Website: weldonforcoroner.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I am a veteran investigator currently working in the JCCO office with over 3,700 deaths personally investigated in our county. I experience firsthand the impact this office has on families and appreciate the importance of properly applying the statutes we must abide by. I am tried, tested and proven, prepared to assume the responsibilities of the office on the first day. I do not require on the job training at the expense of the taxpayer.

What must an effective coroner do?

Lead by example. Possess the skill sets and abilities of their subordinates they will be expected to deputize, direct and evaluate. Remain involved and engaged in the investigative process to understand the needs of the office on basic levels that allow for competent, responsible and effective decision making. Administrate a safe workplace that respects all equally, dictates clear and concise policy, promotes advancement and recognizes individual as well as overall achievement to retain talented staff.

What will be your top priority if elected?

Accreditation of the office as suggested by the National Commission on Forensic Sciences. Such status demonstrates professional compliance and independent oversight of industry standards and performance which will provide a measure of assurance to the taxpayer. Additionally, accredited offices are eligible in certain circumstances for various grant funding that would otherwise not be offered to non-accredited coroner’s offices potentially eliminating the burden to the taxpayers of future capital expenditures my office will certainly require.

How is the opioid epidemic affecting the coroner's position?

In 2017, 4,774 total deaths were reported to the JCCO. One-hundred and five deaths were drug-related, and opiates were involved in 58 of those deaths. In Colorado, an autopsy is required when an overdose is suspected, which includes toxicology testing. The use of opioids is affecting the coroner’s position by increasing the manpower, budget, and time required to complete a thorough death investigation, so that our partner organizations can understand the issue and take action.

What else should voters know about you?

I have been endorsed by Dr. Ben Galloway, JCCO Forensic Pathologist for the past 4 decades, current Coroner John Graham, Fraternal Order of Police Lodges # 18 & 21, hold diplomate status with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, certified by the Colorado Coroner’s Association, active participant with Child Fatality Review Team, Suicide prevention Coalition, NCR Mass Fatality Planning Committee. I will be honored to continue serving Jefferson County as your next Coroner.

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