ALBANY, Ga. — Michael Fowler says his extensive experience as a mortician and death-investigation specialist/forensic pathology assistant with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will serve the community well in the position of Dougherty County coroner.
"I have the knowledge and experience the job needs to help solve criminal investigations," Fowler said. "There are cost savings when I can eliminate the need to take a body to the crime lab. Medical examiners trust my knowledge and experience."
To read about Michael Fowler's opponent, Emma Quimbley, click here.
Fowler enumerates experience with the GBI and as a mortician to back up the technical skills and emotional grounding he would bring to the coroner's office. He has embalmed more than 3,000 bodies and performed autopsies on more than 4,200 remains.
The one-week course given to elected coroners is inadequate next to his education and experience, he said, noting that because the coroner's office is an elected position, there is no way anyone can flunk out.
Fowler said he sees the job as one in which he is part of a team to help solve the crime of homicide. He said he has more to contribute than anyone with less experience and training.
Working for the GBI, Fowler had to keep up with new technologies and discoveries in the field. He wants to be able to expand the technology at the coroner's office.
Fowler also cited his experience with the National Disaster Medical System's Team. The experience includes victim identification, dental pathology and other forensic skills. Fowler notes that members of the team are required to maintain licenses and certifications so they can be activated for duty in time of national disaster, mass death or an act of terrorism.
Occupation: Mortician, retired death investigation specialist/GBI forensic pathology assistant
Post Sought: Coroner
Family: Wife Rosa; three children, three grandchildren
Key Issues: Take the office to “the next level”; Experience and technical skills would help raise the contributions the office could make to solving homicide cases
In 2001, Fowler was with the team called on to identify bodies in the World Trade Center rubble. That was the fifth disaster he'd worked on while on the team.
Fowler said he knows the pain of bereavement inside and out and has empathy for the families of the deceased. He said his membership in the Evangelical Faith Vision Ministries guides him.
Active with "Stop the Violence" and other programs, Fowler believes in reaching out to youths before he has to see them in his role as coroner.