Deputy Coroner trains in Big Apple

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dan Brown/Independent Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury and Deputy Coroner Darnell Hartwell.

Berkeley County Deputy Coroner Darnell Hartwell took a bite out of the Big Apple in January when he took part in a five-day training class with the Medical Examiner's office of New York City.

Hartwell's class was sponsored and paid for by the New York City Medical Examiner's office, a 100 percent grant that is part of Hartwell's 16-hours of continued training requirement.

According to Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury, the training class was too good of a deal to pass on.

“Any time you can send someone to a class like this with a grant that didn't cost Berkeley County anything, it's a great deal,” he said. “This was excellent training for Darnell as he got to network with police officers and coroners from all across the United States.”

About 40 coroner and law enforcement personnel took part in the five-day class that ran from Jan. 20-24.

“The volume of cases the New York City Medical Examiner's office handles is staggering,” Salisbury said. “They get up to 55,000 calls a year and perform more than 5,000 autopsies.”

Salisbury said his coroner's office handled 828 calls in 2013.

Hartwell considered the trip to New York an invaluable experience.

“We went to Ground Zero and the impact of being there was very strong,” he said. “Even today they are still finding bone fragments, or hair, or something that will help in identifying some of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.”

Hartwell is required to take 16 hours of continuing education and training annually, though Salisbury said fulfilling the requirement is easy for his deputy coroner.

“He easily takes around 64 hours of class and training annually so fulfilling the 16-hour requirement is no problem,” Salisbury said. “Darnell has already satisfied his training requirement for this year, but he's just getting started.”

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