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Mayor responds to I-TEAM on overcrowded city morgue

Medical Examiner facing 'dire lack of space,' according to emails

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two weeks after the I-TEAM requested comment about the city morgue being over capacity, Mayor Lenny Curry released a statement Thursday, saying the medical examiner could have asked for a new building during the budget planning process.

Curry said the ME didn't do that and asked only for a new employee and equipment, which were funded by the city.

In a report Nov. 30, the I-TEAM detailed internal emails from the medical examiner in which she stated there was a “dire lack of space” and that bodies were being stacked up. One was even put on the floor. 

The morgue received 52 bodies in one week. The maximum it can handle in the space is 50.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office shared their critical capacity issues with the administration after an email was sent to all City Council members” Curry's statement said. “The MEO’s request for a new building is included in the city’s 5-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP). While it is currently in the “Beyond 5th year” category, adjustments can be made in the CIP with appropriate approvals based on changes and needs.”

Curry said that until a new building is approved, the ME is coming up with other recommendations to deal with the increased demands.

One of those temporary fixes is a refrigerated truck to hold bodies.


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