Jackson County faces thousands in unexpected costs because of spike in deaths

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office faces a grim reality.

It is $240,000 over budget this year because of an increase in overtime and other fees related to autopsies.

The Medical Examiner attributes the issue to a large increase in homicides, suicides, and overdoses in both Jackson County and the surrounding area.

According to the office, its examiners are in high demand because they come from an accredited office while others in the area do not have the same designation. Because of the accreditation, the office said it’s been inundated with forensic autopsy requests from other counties.


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When a request from another county is made, an investigator often needs to travel to provide a consultation and sometimes transportation services are also required, which adds to the costs.

The Jackson County Legislature is asking for more information from the medical examiner’s office to determine if a public hearing on the issue is needed before deciding if the funding request will be approved.

If a public hearing is needed, the legislature said it will take place Monday, Oct. 4 during the group’s next scheduled meeting.

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