Friday, December 01, 2023

Why Tom Cronin for Kootenai County Coroner?

| April 16, 2010 6:58 AM

There is a misconception that a medical degree is required to serve as coroner and that is not the case. In fact, Only 4 out of 43 counties in Idaho have a medical doctor serving as coroner and currently all Kootenai County autopsies are performed out-of-state by a forensic pathologist.


I have dedicated my entire life to public service from my time in the Air Force in the 1960’s until I retired as the police chief for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in 2005, a total of over 41 years in service. Most of my career involved violent crime investigations, beginning as a robbery detective in Chicago. Shortly after that promotion a restructuring combined the robbery, homicide and sex investigation units into the violent crime investigations unit and changed our title from detectives to investigators.


In 1986, I was selected to attend an FBI Fellowship with the Behavioral Science Unit at Quantico, Virginia. Worldwide, there are only 38 graduates of this 1-year fellowship.  This experience taught me the nuances of death investigations including studies in equivocal death investigations, blood spatter interpretation, and conducting psychological autopsies. During that year, I attended the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology’s basic and advanced courses on the principals of forensic pathology. AFIP is a world-renowned institute that teaches forensic and non-forensic pathologists, coroners, law enforcement officers and attorneys the principals of identifying and interpreting evidence, injuries and disease and correlates them with the scene and the law enforcement investigation.


 After graduating from AFIP, I worked with Dr. Robert Stein, Chief Medical Examiner and Forensic Pathologist for Cook County, Illinois. Dr. Stein subsequently invited me to lecture at the National Conference of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. I authored “Application of the Psychological Autopsy” for the Medicolegal Death Investigation: Treatises in the Forensic Sciences, which is a desktop reference book for medical examiners and coroners.


From 1988 – 2000 I served on the Cook County (and subsequently the State of Illinois) Child Fatality Task Force reviewing all children’s deaths.


Between 1987 and 2000 I taught more than 15,000 detectives, coroners, medical examiners and lawyers. During that time, I was an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety. For 7 years I taught courses with Dr. Henry Lee and Vernon Geberth, the author of the book “Practical Homicide Investigation” (considered the handbook on death investigations). In 2002, I was asked by the State Department and the Justice Department to travel to Albania and teach death/homicide investigations to local law enforcement.


I possess a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a M.S. in Social Justice and I am currently an adjunct faculty member at North Idaho College teaching courses in Criminal Procedure and Corrections. I am a nationally recognized consultant and lecturer on death investigations, homicide, suicide, equivocal death investigations, autoerotic fatalities, the application of the psychological autopsy and profiling. My combined education, experience and expertise would be invaluable to the office of coroner and I look forward to the opportunity to serve the residents of Kootenai County.


Thank you and please vote on May 25.

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