A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report says that the County Coroner’s Bureau has inadequate facilities, and needs a strategic plan to develop a plan to deal with the problem.
The study says the existing facilities don’t have an isolation room to deal with potentially contagious diseases, have poor ventilation, and discharge wastes from autopsies into Goleta’s sanitary system without a special permit.
The report says that the office performs more than 150 autopsies annually. It says staffing in inadequate, and the pathologist has to use retired personnel from the bureau on a part time basis to meet the demand for services.
It also says that there aren’t enough detectives trained in death scene investigations to properly handle the caseload, and that this lack of trained manpower could compromise important evidence.
The Grand Jury says all new bureau staff should be offered additional specialized training, especially when it comes to situations dealing with things like infectious diseases.