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Oklahoma State Senate
Co-President Pro Tempore
Senator Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 418
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5636

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For Immediate Release: February 20, 2008

Senator Glenn Coffee
Sen. Glenn Coffee

Coffee Bill Would Move Medical Examiner to Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation

State Capitol, Oklahoma City – State Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee said he will strongly push his legislation to merge the Office Chief Medical Examiner with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and said he is disappointed in criticism of his bill that seems to impugn the integrity and professionalism of the OSBI.

“Senate Bill 1709 is a very good bill that will improve public safety and make government more efficient and effective,” Coffee said. “States like Georgia, Kentucky, and Oregon have medical examiner systems that are part of state law enforcement agencies, so we’re not blazing a new trail here in Oklahoma.”

“I’m very disappointed that so much of the criticism of this proposal seems to impugn the integrity and professionalism of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and calls into question OSBI’s ability to provide fair and impartial oversight of the chief medical examiner,” said Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.

Coffee said he believes merging the two agencies would also help ensure that the Tulsa office of the medical examiner would remain open.

Coffee said other benefits of merging the two agencies include:

  • The Chief Medical Examiner would be freed from day-to-day administrative duties, providing more time to conduct medical examinations
  • Would create more efficient government by allowing OSBI and CME to share legal staff, public information staff, information technology services, human resources functions, and procurement and budgeting functions.

  • OSBI forensic toxicologists and CME pathological toxicologists could be cross-trained to augment and assist each other.

  • CME would have access to OSBI’s state-of-the-art evidence tracking system, making evidence collection, analysis, and preservation more effective and efficient.

For more information contact:
Senator Coffee's Office: (405) 521-5654

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