A Defense Department giveaway stocks the Coroner’s Office.
Why would a coroner in Sharp County, Arkansas need surplus military guns for his safety when he works with the dead?
According to ABC News, Doug Wortham is the current coroner in Sharp County, and believes he needs the surplus military items for his own personal protection. With the military giving away surplus items, many government agencies are taking hold of these items for their own benefit. Wortham is being slandered for believing he needs to reap the benefits of owning guns.
Not only did Wortham receive guns from the surplus, he also received a Humvee. Have you ever known a coroner to pick up a dead body in a Humvee? Well, Wortham believes he needs the Humvee to travel the rugged terrains in his home state of Arkansas, which is also something that’s a hot topic in Sharp County, Arkansas and throughout the country.
It’s not uncommon for military-grade weapons to be put on surplus for government agencies to claim. Many current casinos and animal control departments are taking advantage of the opportunity to protect their companies.
According to the 1033 Program, it provides surplus Department of Defense military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies for use in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations, and to enhance officer safety. This doesn’t sum up the work of Doug Wortham to any extent, but he is taking full advantage of his ability to arrest citizens within Sharp County.
According to ABC News, Wortham was elected to his first term as coroner in 2010. In 2011, Wortham claimed the Humvee from the surplus followed by a .45-caliber pistol and an M-16 rifle in 2012.
If all coroners take advantage of this program for the purpose of their own safety, we need to look deep into the job description of coroners to see what they actually do. For years, a coroner’s job description has been fairly simple – a government agency that certifies a death within jurisdiction.
Even though Wortham is part of a government agency, many of us ask why it’s necessary for a coroner to use the 1033 Program for self-benefits, especially when the job description doesn’t typically declare any violence within the position.