Kendall County Election 2016: Carl Gutierrez, Candidate for Kendall County Coroner
Mar 06, 2016 02:10PM ● Published by Steven Jack
Name: Carl Gutierrez
Employment: (Ret.) Lieutenant Illinois State Police
Family: 2 Sons
Relevant community service: Appointed as the Vice-Chair of the Kendall County Housing Authority – A volunteer non-paid position
Why are you running for Kendall County Coroner? What makes you qualified for the position?
I am running for Kendall County Coroner because I believe our residents should be represented by an experienced professional leader that is compassionate and understanding to the needs of Kendall County families.
The Coroner’s Office, by definition, is a law enforcement entity of county government. I believe, because of that, Kendall County needs a Coroner who has the necessary law enforcement background and training to properly administer death investigations or catastrophic events with a professional working relationship with local law enforcement agencies. This is why I want to be the next Coroner – To ensure that Kendall County residents know they have the most qualified individual who is responsible not only to the elected office but accountable to the families of Kendall County.
The Coroner’s Office has been under the same leadership since 1992. How do you differ from the previous coroner, and what specific changes, if any, do you plan to implement once in office?
My 28 + years of experience in law enforcement and investigations has equipped me with the knowledge and tools to provide the best practices to serve the residents of Kendall County. I am the only experienced candidate that has held high level leadership positions in not just the county but also on a state and federal level. I am the most qualified candidate who has not only managed major operational units and investigations but also multi-million dollar budgets. If elected my plan would be to immediately enact the following:
- Enhance Training and Education of the Coroner’s office by starting quarterly reviews and training to all Deputy Coroners.
- Provide better community awareness of the Coroner’s office through community outreach programs.
- Start a prescription drug drop off and destruction program with the Sheriff's Office to keep drugs off the street and out of homes.
- Create a heroin awareness and prevention program in partnership with the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies to discuss the physical harms and legal impacts of heroin usage.
- Establish an out-reach program bringing legal awareness to our seniors - providing outside assistance to help create living wills and testaments and informational funeral home speakers to senior housing and senior centers.
- Senior News and Awareness Program: SNAP an online program that seniors can use to become aware of current events and contacts for the county and other law enforcement agencies and services.
- Establish a volunteer Coroner Emergency Response Team that is organized by individuals who are both active or retired within the law enforcement, first responders and or medical fields
- Create the first Annual Coroner’s Scholarship Program by donating a portion of the Coroner’s salary for High School Senior’s seeking higher education in CSI, Forensic law enforcement or medical field careers.
What kind of relationship do you foresee the Coroner’s Office having with local law enforcement, health agencies, schools and other organizations? How important is that relationship?
In my 28 years with the Illinois State Police and working role as the Supervising Special Agent, F.B.I. – Illinois State Police Joint Terrorism Task Force, I believe it is imperative to have established working relationships with both countywide and local law enforcement, schools, agencies and organizations but to also grow and network relationships on a broader level outside the county.
My career has equipped me with these necessary skills through major statewide investigative leadership roles, providing me already established multi-jurisdictional agency relationships. Through this networking, I can assist in procuring the necessary tools and resources to be used by the Coroner’s Office and other county agencies and local law enforcement to enhance office and program productivity.
What do you see as the role of deputy coroners? Are they necessary in the operation of the office, and how so? How many deputies are employed by the office and is that just enough, not enough, or too many?
The role of a deputy coroner is that of a trained law enforcement death investigator who determines the cause and manner of death in cooperation with the local law enforcement agency who is investigating the death.
I believe the role of a deputy coroner is extremely necessary to assist the Coroner as a liaison to both private investigators and public law enforcement agencies. They serve great importance in the absence of the Coroner or in the event of multiple death calls or additional assistance required pending the situation.
There is one full-time Deputy Coroner employed aside from the Coroner themselves and there are six part-time Deputy Coroner’s. Given the proper and current conditions of flexibility of the part-time employee schedules I would consider this to be an adequate number of employed deputies pending future growth of the county.