Jackson County

Coroner finally has space for dealing with the dead — and their families

Vicki Broadus has a new office. The Jackson County coroner finally has room for dealing with the dead.

In February, she told county supervisors she had so vastly outgrown her little coroner’s office she was having to meet grieving families in the Singing River Hospital lobby.

Her office was crammed into three small rooms in the back of a sprawling county building on Amonett Street, where she was isolated and didn’t feel safe meeting people after hours.

She shared an office with her secretary and her staff shared computers and desk space. There was no room for the growing number of file cabinets and often they had to use the hallway. There was no good place to explain autopsies, no safe place where people could get emotional, and at times she was forced to work from home.

She’s still moving in, but Broadus is now working from a spacious suite of offices on the south side of the new Jackson County Health Department building northeast of Singing River Hospital and south of the county fairgrounds.

She is very pleased. It allows her to function with dignity.

She’s been struggling for an adequate office for years.

Now she has a reception area, as well as a desk and computer for each of her five employees, a conference room, a file room, a storage room and even a restroom.

“It took awhile, but when they did it, they did it good,” she said. “We have chairs, we have a conference table.”

County Administrator Brian Fulton said officials were holding out for a building the county owned, so they wouldn’t have to pay rent.

“It’s a good fit and so much better than the other location,” Fulton said. “The Health Department downsized, and the county owns the building.”

Broadus has her own office, with a window. And it’s close enough to Singing River Hospital she could walk there if she had to, she said.

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