Established: 12/08
Revised: 12/13
FLSA: Exempt
EEO: 3



Under direction, to perform the most difficult or complex investigations of death occurring under violent, questionable or unexplained circumstances; to prepare detailed reports relating to deceased persons; and to do other work as required.


The County Medical Examiner's Office is established within the Emergency Management Department for the purpose of investigating and certifying the cause and manner of deaths requiring investigation as prescribed in ORS Chapter 146. The activities of this office are conducted in cooperation with the District Attorney's Office, County law enforcement agencies and private organizations, and are subject to the review and direction of the State Medical Examiner's Office.

The Medical Examiner, Senior Deputy is a single position classification conducting the most complex and sensitive investigations. The Medical Examiner, Senior Deputy is distinguished from the Medical Examiner, Deputy by its advanced skill level and responsibility to provide training and community outreach.

It also differs from the Medical Examiner Chief Deputy which is responsible for the supervision of staff and administration of programs and policies within the Medical Examiner’s Office, including the supervision, review, and/or performance of death investigations.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Conducts investigations of deaths, including the most complex or sensitive cases; takes custody of the body, the personal effects of the deceased, and any weapons, instruments, vehicles, buildings or premises which are believed to be involved in the death; preserves evidence relating to the cause and manner of death.
  2. Interviews witnesses and relatives of the deceased; takes photographs of death scene and examines body for signs of injury or suspicious death; orders removal of body upon completion of investigation; recommends further criminal or pathological investigations if indicated.
  3. Prepares detailed reports on all circumstances relating to deaths, including investigation reports, autopsies, laboratory analyses and inventories, for review by the Medical Examiner Chief Deputy; testifies in criminal and civil proceedings relating to the cause and manner of death.
  4. At the direction of the Medical Examiner Chief Deputy, conducts public relations and outreach activities; participates in regional and state organizations, commissions, task forces and committees to promote and improve public service; conducts in-service training seminars for police, fire, and EMS personnel and presentations for private sector partners; responds to questions and requests for information from the public.
  5. Assists in training of Medical Examiner staff in day-day operations and protocols; provides orientation to new staff relating to State and County statutes, rules and regulations.


Thorough knowledge of: Effective methods of medical and criminal investigation; state statutes regulating death investigations; medical and anatomical terminology; recordkeeping and reporting techniques.

Working knowledge of: Principles and practices of training; basic rules of legal evidence; gathering of statistics and statistical calculations; public relations techniques.

Skill to: Determine and obtain evidence required in order to enforce the medical investigation law; obtain information from lay and expert witnesses concerning matters of an intimate nature and serious consequence; prioritize multiple, critical tasks occurring simultaneously; effectively use independent judgment in conditions of competing priorities; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; respond to changes desired by citizens and County staff; compile and analyze statistics; prepare clear and concise reports; establish and maintain effective working relationships with medical, law enforcement and County personnel, and the public.


Duties in the field require walking, stepping, squatting, bending, balancing, fine motor control and the ability to lift, carry, push and pull up to 50 pounds, lift and carry 50 pounds while climbing stairs, and push/pull 150 pounds. Duties involve exposure to confined spaces, working at heights, slippery and/or uneven surfaces, adverse weather conditions, environmental, biological, and/or health hazards, and unpleasant elements at death scenes.


Must be willing to work scheduled 24-hour work/standby shifts. Requires on-call availability beyond assigned shifts.

Must successfully pass an extensive background investigation including national fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Driving is required for County business on a regular basis or to accomplish work. Incumbents must possess a valid driver's license, and possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

Employment is contingent upon passing a post-offer physical assessment. Accommodation requests will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.

At time of hire, must possess and maintain national registration as a medicolegal death investigator from the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).

Within one (1) year of hire, successful completion of Oregon Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator Training Program.


Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.

Edited: 08/16