Deputy Coroner Brad Baltzly has announced that he’ll be seeking the Republican nomination to run for the position of county coroner in the November elections.
Earlier this week, Coroner Art Nordyke appointed a Second Deputy Coroner.
“Nordyke appointed Mark Reeves a few days after I declared my candidacy,” Baltzly said, and added that it is his opinion that Nordyke did so out of retribution.
Baltzly has been the Deputy Coroner for the past five years, and has had extensive forensic training. He trained online with the National Forensic Science Technology Center, and was then selected from students nationwide to be one of 25 coroners to attend a hands-on class at the National Forensics lab in Florida.
Baltzly has also attended all of the available training offered by the Colorado Coroners Association twice a year. He has taken a class in forensic anthropology at Metro State College in Denver. The professor later invited him back as a guest instructor to teach excavating clandestine graves to college students.
In 2007, Baltzly was awarded a lifesaving award by Sheriff Fred Jobe for his efforts with aiding Search and Rescue.
“One of my biggest goals if I am elected into office,” Baltzly said, “is to do interagency training with all first responders.”
Baltzly explained that Search and Rescue invited him to teach them what and what not to do when they come across a body, how to work together, and preserve as much evidence as possible.
Baltzly hopes that if he is elected as county coroner, interagency training can take place with Search and Rescue, EMS, and the fire department.
“If I am elected,” Baltzly said, “another goal would be to update the coroner’s office.”
The updates would include modernizing death investigations, record keeping, and bringing the office up to state standards.
The role of a coroner includes determining the manner and cause of death, notifying next of kin, pronouncing death, and arranging the mortuary to pick up deceased.
“As coroner,” Baltzly said, “I would be committed to investigating all deaths in Custer County, utilizing all that science has available and in a manner sensitive to survivors. With me as the last advocate for the deceased, citizens of Custer County can be confident that I would competently carry out these duties.”
– J.E. Ward