Coroner workers fear for their safety.Byline: Troy Anderson Staff Writer
AUDIT: Report warns problems could lead to autopsy backlogs.
Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County Coroner's Office employees don't feel safe at the morgue morgue (morg) a place where dead bodies may be kept for identification or until claimed for burial.
n. and say managers are not fair when it comes to issuing take-home vehicles and work assignments, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. an audit released Thursday.
The 132-page report, by Washington State-based firm Strategica Inc., found a host of management problems that, if not corrected, could result in autopsy backlogs, threaten the department's accreditation and jeopardize law enforcement's ability to investigate and prosecute homicide cold cases.
"Many of the problems seem to center on a perceived disconnect between employee performance and recognition, perceived favoritism and inequitable treatment of staff," the auditors wrote. "Many described a climate of favoritism in which some employees are given privileges (e.g., take-home cars), are not disciplined and get better assignments."
In addition, auditors found that policies requiring constant supervision of jail work-release and community service workers who perform custodial duties were not fully enforced. During interviews, coroner's employees expressed concern for their safety, saying they had received numerous threats from the public. In one instance, a community service worker came to work armed with a handgun. Law enforcement officials were called and arrested the individual.
In an effort to improve security, Craig Harvey, chief of operations for the Coroner's Office, said the office is no longer using work-release inmates and has reduced the number of community service workers to ensure they are supervised at all times.
Harvey said his office takes the issues raised in the audit very seriously.
"With respect to the field response vehicle program, the program is being looked at closely to make sure it is operating in accordance with how it's supposed to be operating and that there is equitable dispersement of the calls," Harvey said.
Tony Bell, spokesman for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, said the audit was prompted in part by a letter sent to their office.
"To address any possible problems, we encourage staff to be vigilant in its reporting of safety concerns to management and for management to ensure proper documentation, thorough investigation and appropriate corrective action A corrective action is a change implemented to address a weakness identified in a management system. Normally corrective actions are instigated in response to a customer complaint, abnormal levels if internal nonconformity, nonconformities identified during an internal audit or ," Bell said. "Furthermore, internal communications This article's grammar usage needs improvement. Please edit this article in accordance with Wikipedia's . between management and staff must be improved to address any perceptions of inequities."
In a problem that could affect law enforcement's ability to investigate homicide cold cases, the auditors found that much of the data collected and stored is not always backed up and "major losses of data have occurred." In 1996, case files were converted to digital form and the paper files were destroyed.
"Unfortunately, the media containing the digital files was rendered unreadable and all the case files from calendar year 1996 are now almost completely gone," auditors wrote.
Harvey said the loss of data has not contributed to any "significant problems."
The auditors also raised concerns the Coroner's Office will likely experience a "severe shortage" of medical examiners in the years ahead, threatening the agency's accreditation and resulting in autopsy backlogs. Many of the physicians are nearing retirement age and the office has had difficult retaining postgraduates. Auditors recommended the county upgrade the "unattractive and outmoded facilities" to attract physicians.
"Ineffective mentoring and discouraging remarks from senior physicians is also a factor," the auditors wrote.
Faced with crypt crypt (krĭpt) [Gr.,=hidden], vault or chamber beneath the main level of a church, used as a meeting place or burial place. It undoubtedly developed from the catacombs used by early Christians as places of worship. overcrowding overcrowding
overcrowding of animal accommodation. Many countries now publish codes of practice which define what the appropriate volumetric allowances should be for each species of animal when they are housed indoors. Breaches of these codes is overcrowding. in the past, Harvey expects this problem to be resolved when the renovated crypt opens in June, expanding the capacity from about 330 bodies now to 500.