An open seat in the race for Kosciusko County coroner has pushed two deputy coroners and an EMT into the race.
Republicans Anthony Ciriello, Carl Saint and Michael Wilson are vying for the four-year term that pays $12,921 a year.
The office was vacated because Coroner John Sadler is term-limited. No Democrats filed for the primary.
Ciriello is chief at the Syracuse Police Department and is a deputy coroner.
He has been a deputy coroner for the past 18 years.
In 1999, he was hired by the Indiana State Coroners Training Board to be the director of training and education. Ciriello said he oversees the training, certification and education for all coroners and deputy coroners in Indiana.
The coroners office is an office that nobody wants to deal with, Ciriello said. Its our job to be the final voice for the deceased and to give the family some closure.
He also said he serves on the legislative committee of the Indiana State Coroners Association, which is the boards lobbying arm.
It is the 28 years of law enforcement experience that makes Ciriello the easy choice to be the next coroner, he said.
Wed just like to see the best and most qualified to continue to maintain the integrity that the office has, Ciriello said. We have one of the best coroners offices in the state.
This is Ciriellos first time running for elected office.
Saint said hes running for coroner because hed like to try something different.
He said hed like to shake up the office if elected but did not have any concrete plans.
Saint did say the cameras the coroners office is using are out of date and that hed like to update them.
Saint said he also would like to get mapping systems in the coroners trucks and computers that can access pathologists reports from other crime scene investigations to be used as a resource.
Saint, an EMT in Mentone for 12 years, said the people who are first on the scene of a death investigation need to know the seriousness of the call.
If Im elected county coroner, Ill do a lot more with the EMS and firefighters because theyre usually the first on scene, he said. (They need to know the importance) about preserving a crime scene and evidence.
Its his first attempt at elected office, and Saint said there is more to the office than people realize.
I work well with people, he said. Theres more than just working with dead people – you have to work with the family to help them get through the tough time.
Wilson is the former fire marshal for the Warsaw Fire Department and said he retired from the department in mid-2011 to put his efforts toward running for county coroner.
He has been a deputy coroner for 17 years.
I have an extensive knowledge and training, as well as commitment to leadership that have prepared me in dealing with families, Wilson said.
Wilson said he took a part-time job at McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel so he could be available to the coroners office at a moments notice.
He said he could be at the scene of a death investigation within 15 minutes of being notified.
Ive gained a lot of experience since 1973 from being involved in investigations, whether it be a crime scene or fire investigation, Wilson said. Ive continued to acquire education.
This is Wilsons first run for public office.