By Paige Nash
Webster Parish Coroner Allen Mosley, FNP, attended the November regular meeting for the Webster Parish Police Jury (WPPJ) asking for an increase in the funding received from the jury.
“When we took over, this is one of those jobs where you are told one thing, but you get into it and see that it could be done a lot better,” said Mosley.
According to the coroner, most of the parish is unaware of the ins and outs of the job at hand.
He said, “We take the approach that you shouldn’t know the coroner until you need them. Since we have taken this office 8 years ago, we have not one time come to the police jury and asked for money.”
He explained that his office operates 24/7 with only two workers who must answer calls. If Mosley takes off work, he must pay someone to take his call and that person must either be a physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s associate.
“Nobody else can do CECs (Coroner’s Emergency Certificate)” said Mosley.
He explained ways that his office has cut expenses and subsequently saved the WPPJ money over the last 8 years that he has served in that position.
“We have saved the police jury thousands of dollars you all just don’t ever hear about,” said Mosley. “You just hear about the number of people who get CECs, number of deaths and you also see the bill that comes from other municipalities that has nothing to do with our coroner’s office and that bill is a lot more than what you fund for us.”
In a rundown of expenses that have been eliminated, Mosley referenced a $2,000 bill from the sheriff’s office that has been cut due to the coroner’s office now sending people to Minden Medical Center instead of transporting them to LSU in Shreveport, $800 a month for a computer program that was previously used to input all data and a $250 phone line that was not even connected. The coroner’s office has also done away with their vehicle including vehicle expenses and gas cards.
“You have not heard from us in 8 years, but the time has come, and things are a little bit more hectic, and we need a little more funding. We just appreciate anything you do for us,” said Mosley.
President Bonsall showed his appreciation for Mosley attending the meeting and sharing this information but explained that the jury really needed it during the previously held budget workshop.
“When we got in here and got started talking about it there wasn’t anything to know what you needed it for,” said Bonsall. “I do think though that in the future it would be good if there were something the jurors could see.”
Juror for District 5 Mike Griffith agreed with Bonsall. He said, “We did not have enough information based on what you were requesting because I did not know most of what you just said about the phones. You pay for your own phones and that’s a lot for someone to take your place for a week, but we did not know any of that.”
Mosley informed the jury that he will begin engaging more with the jury and keeping track of when they will begin workshops next October for the 2025 budget.
A public hearing for the 2024 proposed budget will be held on December 5 at 10:30 a.m. at the Webster Parish Police Jury Courthouse Annex, 401 Main Street in Minden.