September 2, 2020 - Earlier today, Members of the GA Coroners Training Council, GA Sheriffs Association, Georgia Funeral Directors Association, Georgia Legislators and others met with Dr. Jonathan Eisenstat, Chief Medical Examiner for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab Division, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds about the planned closure of the GBI Crime Lab in Macon, GA. This closure would result in the counties which currently use this lab having to use the lab at Georgia Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Atlanta or the Pooler lab. Dr. Eisenstat would be designating the lab each county would use.
GFDA fully supports funeral homes and coroners expressed our concerns that the closing of the lab will affect not only the Coroners in this state, but the funeral homes and the families they serve as well. This will increase the distance for loved ones to be transported back to the funeral homes where the arrangements will be handled and ultimately cost families/consumers more money. Due to COVID-19, there has already been a reduction of times decedents can be brought to and picked up from the labs. We are very concerned the closing of the lab will increase these times further.
GFDA fully supports funeral homes and coroners in Georgia and will continue to protect the families we serve. We asked for them to reconsider closing the lab and to work with us as we serve the great state of Georgia and provide the taxpayers with the services they deserve.
After discussion with those attending, as they represented numerous entities across the state, it was reported there would further discussion held regarding the closure and an updated would be provided in a few days.
We will continue to work with other groups to ensure the interests of funeral service are served and update our members as additional information becomes available.