Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Legislation Moving Medical Examiner’s Office to UCO Forensic Science Institute Passes House Committe

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 29, 2010) — The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner would receive a new facility near the world-class University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute if legislation passed by House committee today becomes law.

Senate Bill 1337, by Rep. Randy Terrill, would require that the ME’s office be located in "close proximity" to the Forensic Science Institute in Edmond. The title is off the bill, meaning it is still a work in progress and will go to conference for further work.

"We have been working to restore public confidence in the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, and I believe relocation to the newly-opened Forensic Science Institute, which is training sought-after pathologists, is a perfect fit for the office," said House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa. "The University of Central Oklahoma has built a nationally-renowned forensic science program with a new state-of-the-art facility, which will help bring the medical examiner’s office into the 21st century."

The bill passed the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Judiciary and Public Safety today with a vote of 9-1. It will next been considered by the full House.

"We have been working on this issue for the better part of a year so this isn’t something we decided lightly. There were a multitude of options and the consensus seems to be that UCO will be the best place for the new office because it will create a unique, one of a kind forensic science synergy unlike anything else in the country. If this bill becomes law, it will be something Oklahomans can be truly proud of," said Terrill, R-Moore and chairman of the committee.

NOTE: For accompanying video, go to http://www.okhouse.tv/ViewVideo.aspx?VideoID=265
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