The county coroner is charged with the responsibilities of determining the cause of death in Saline County. This position is not a typical elected position with normal office hours. This job is one that is constant 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There are numerous daily tasks that must be completed in order to determine a cause of death including conducting an investigation concerning the circumstances surrounding the death, gather and review background information, including but not limited to medical records and other information which may be helpful in determining the cause and manner of death (ACA 14-15-301). These duties are mandated to be completed in a very short time frame. The Office of the Coroner works very closely with multiple law enforcement agencies, ambulance companies, and fire departments across this county to assure that all information gathered in the investigation is accurate. This office also has a very close working relation with the Arkansas State Crime Lab and the staff at the Medical Examiner’s Office as well as the Chaplains in Saline County. The job of the coroner does not end with the initial investigation. The families of the individual that has deceased play an important part of this office. It is this office’s job to help these families cope with what has transpired in their lives. Many of the situations the coroner faces are very sudden and tragic. Along with the chaplains, the Coroner’s Office helps to make the next steps for a grieving family as easy as possible.
Kevin began his career in Emergency Services after working at a head injury rehabilitation center in 1990 and has served as an EMT and Paramedic at Saline Memorial Hospital, MEMS, Ron Lusby Paramedic Service and Lifemobile in his 26 years of service. In 1996 Kevin began teaching a drug awareness program in the Saline County school systems when he noted a growing concern of children of all ages overdosing. In 2007 he began his career in death investigation when he joined the Saline County Coroner’s Office as a part time deputy. In 2011 he accepted the Chief Deputy Coroner position for Saline County and was certified by the Arkansas State Crime Lab. In 2012 Kevin attended and graduated the St. Louis University School of Medicine’s Medicolegal Death Investigator program and licensed nationally in August of 2013 as a Diplomat to American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (D-ABMDI). He is the first to hold this title in Saline County and is one of twenty three in the state.
Member of Arkansas EMT Association
Member of Arkansas Coroner’s Association
Certified Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigator
Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Instructor
Nationally Licensed Forensic Death Investigator
Director of The South Central Region Infant and Child Death Review Committee covering a twelve county region.
Member of Arkansas Coroner Association Inaugural Education Development Committee
State Licensed Paramedic
National Registered Paramedic
Basic and Advanced Life Support Instructor
Kevin Cleghorn took office as the Coroner Elect January 1, 2015. He states that the goal of this office is to take care of the citizens of Saline County and to provide as many answers as possible during the loss of a family member. “I look at these families as an extension of my own. When they hurt, I hurt” states Cleghorn. Each of the Deputy Coroners under Kevin feels the same about the families they serve. Dena Turney serves full time with Cleghorn as Chief Deputy Coroner. The office also includes six part time deputies that respond when called upon. Each year holds new possibilities for furthering the services that this office can use to assist the citizens of Saline County and to make a death investigation easier for a family to endure.