JANESVILLE (WIFR) -- The Rock County Coroner’s Office, specifically Deputy Coroner Tony Farrell, Sr, and Chief Deputy/Acting Coroner Louis C. Smit were commeded by the International Association of Coroner's and Medical Examiners for decreasing the suicide rate from 32 in 2011 to only 17 in 2013 with zero juvenile suicides over a 21 month period when the national average is approximately two (2) Juvenile suicides for every one (1) adult death.
The Rock County Coroners Office was also recognized and commended for its Survivors of Suicide Program, The Remember Me Program, and its Networking Program wherein the Coroner’s Office and its Deputy Coroners work as often as possible in the various schools, churches, community centers, homes, basically whenever and wherever they are requested to respond in order to provide preventive information about drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, infant deaths, child care, elder care, financial difficulties and many more topics upon demand. In addition to the above the Rock County Coroner’s Office has recorded forty-two (42) “saves” (which also included one (1) international “save”). A save, being defined as where someone who heard a program, or a family member or friend who was at a program or presentation recognized the signs of potential suicide and stopped someone from committing suicide. Thus far we have had forty-two (42) of these saves, with two of them in the last couple of days.
In one case, a person called our office several times last Friday (February 31, 2014), following the death of a loved one. Then during the call, they indicated their intent to commit suicide. A Rock Co. Deputy Coroner keeps that person on the line while another Deputy Coroner contacted the 911 center and Sheriff's deputies were dispatched. Meanwhile, the 2nd Deputy continued to feed information to the deputy responding directly as the deputy had called to the Coroner’s Office via his cell phone. The sheriff's deputy expedited his response and was able to aid and stop the individual before anything could happen.
In a case from February 2, 2014, a citizen called one of our deputies directly (as our entire Team of Deputy Coroners provide our cell phone numbers for easy citizen contact) and they reported an active suicide ideation that was vocalized by a juvenile who had made it clear it was their intent to commit suicide. The end result being that our deputy was able to direct the callers to the correct course of action, and our Deputy was able to coordinate with law enforcement so that law enforcement responded and the individual was taken into custody for treatment.