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Douglas County  2170
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Pay Range 336


This classification investigates and reviews deaths in Douglas County and ensures proper forensic investigation of deaths.  Duties are performed within the Sheriff’s Department and are performed consistent with established Departmental policy and procedure and as directed by the District Deputy State Medical Examiner.


(Duties assigned to this classification include, but are not limited to, the following examples.  Any one position may not perform all listed duties.)

1. Manage the activities of the medical examiner’s office as prescribed by state statutes, and as directed by the District Deputy State Medical Examiner; maintain records, and process necessary reports relating to deaths, including death notices; investigative reports, autopsies, laboratory analyses and inventories.  Prepare and maintain records, reports and statistical data.

2. Conduct investigations of deaths’ take custody of body and personal effects of the deceased; assist local law enforcement to preserve evidence; obtain medical history and other information relevant to the death; contact coworkers, funeral homes, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, District Attorney’s office, relatives and public to aid in the resolution of questionable deaths.

3. Examine body and environment at the scene of a death, determine approximate time of death, cause and manner of death; participate in autopsy; use sound judgment and precautions in situations where personal health and safety may be compromised such as exposure to contagious diseases.

4. Notify next of kin and relatives of death; interview witnesses and relatives; arrange for disposition of body; answer questions from family, public and/or media.

5. Assist the investigations division Lieutenant with various functions to include investigations of major crimes involving serious injury and other investigative areas requiring medical expertise.

6.  Review all case investigations by on-call deputy medical examiner for completion and accuracy.

7. Testify in court regarding death investigations; Serve as staff representative at various meetings and/or reviews such as Douglas County Major Crimes Team, etc.

8. Participate in the development, administration and monitoring of program budget; assist division commander and District Deputy State Medical Examiner in establishing and maintaining office policy and procedures.


Knowledge of: Considerable knowledge of policies, procedures and practices of medical diagnostic or law enforcement investigation techniques as they apply to death investigations; considerable knowledge of medical terminology, human anatomy, state statutes as they apply to death investigations and vital records, rules and regulations; principles, practices and techniques of program management.  Skill in: Interviewing persons involved with traumatic events, family members of deceased, law enforcement and emergency services personnel; Investigations.  Ability to: Communicate effectively in both oral and written forms; make independent decisions based on knowledge of internal, State and Federal procedures and protocol under the most difficult of circumstances.  Establish and maintain clear and concise records, reports and statistical data; represent Department in a variety of settings; maintain confidentiality; remain calm and use good judgment during confrontational or high pressure situations; courteously meet and deal effectively with law enforcement personnel, District Deputy State Medical Examiner, District Attorney’s Office, other County Department representatives, hospital, medical and mortuary staff, deceased family members, other government agencies, vendors and the public.

Education, experience and training: Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, pharmacology, mortuary science OR a satisfactory equivalent combination of experience, education and training.  At time of appointment, must possess a valid Oregon driver's license and a current Oregon State Deputy Medical Examiner’s certificate.


Work is performed with supervision from the Investigations Lieutenant and under the direction of the District Deputy State Medical Examiner.  Employee exercises discretion in applying general goal and policy statements, in development of recommendations, policies and procedures, and in resolving organizational and service delivery problems.  Independence of action is necessary in administering a complex and sensitive area of responsibility.  Work is accomplished within a broad framework, with authority and responsibility in a given program or functional area of service.


Work is performed within established Departmental policies and proce­dures, Federal and State statutes, rules, regulations and ordinances.  Work is performed according to proper medical and investigative practices and procedures and according to the American Board of Medical Legal Death Investigations. Incumbent must remain current on statutes, rules and ordinances and uses considerable independent judgment in interpreting statutes, rules and regulations and determining which to apply to death investigation.


Regular and consistent attendance is required.  Work is performed both in an office environment and in the field and requires physical demands of bending, climbing, color identification, crawling, crouching, gripping with hands and fingers, hearing alarms and voice conversation, keyboarding, kneeling, typically lifting up to 60 pounds but may lift and move a deceased person, pulling, pushing, reaching, sitting, standing long periods, stooping, twisting body, walking and walking rough terrain. Work involves everyday risks and discomforts and sometime adverse weather conditions requiring safety precautions. A substantial amount of daily driving is required.

  To submit comments or suggestions
please email the Human Resources department.