Pulaski council purchases central office for coroner
WINAMAC, Ind. - For the first time ever, the Pulaski County coroner has one place to call home. The county council purchased the Masonic Lodge on Franklin Street Monday night.
“We’re blazing a trail as far as having our own office, being independent from other agencies, and doing our job the way it’s supposed to be done," said Chief Deputy Coroner Jon Frain.
Frain and the coroner John Behny convinced the county council to buy the Masonic Lodge for $50,000, with an extra $20,000 set aside for renovations.
The building is tax-exempt, so the council will be pulling the $70,000 from the casino fund.
Where before, they kept bodies in one building, papers in another, and had no place to meet with families, now it will all be in one place--right across the street from the Winamac Police Department and down the road from the courthouse and justice center.
“Dignity is forefront in our minds every minute of every day, and it was frankly quite difficult to maintain that dignity, not only for the families, but for the descendants as well. Now, we have a place where we can do that," said coroner John Behny.
They'll meet with families up in the front next to their offices; down the hallway, the former dining room will house the morgue; and the kitchen will become the autopsy room.
“These are the worst days of our lives, worst days of anybody’s lives," said Behny.
But, they hope giving families one safe space to deal with the aftermath will help minimize the grief of the process a little.
The coroner expressed his thanks to the council for working with them on the historic purchase.