The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Funeral Service Association was recently invited to tour the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s office in Little Rock. Dr. Ted Brown, Arkansas Chief Medical Examiner, shared with students the importance of communication and respect between funeral service practitioners and the crime lab staff. Not only were students given the opportunity to learn about the Medical Examiner’s Office, but they were also led by Daryl Burks, adjunct Funeral Service Education Instructor and Medical Examiner employee, on a tour of the Arkansas State Crime Lab. Students observed scientific services and procedures provided to the criminal justice community.
The Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office is part of and housed within the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. The office is a referral office and laboratory where the officials of the 75 Arkansas counties submit cases of sudden and unexpected deaths due to trauma and natural disease, including categories such as self-destructive acts, industrial accidents, motor vehicle accidents, and any cases where potential criminal activity including homicide may be suspected or presumed. More than 1,500 cases are referred annually to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Over 1,200 of these cases undergo complete autopsy examination.
Arkansas opened its first regional crime laboratory on April 12th, 2004, on the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana campus. The laboratory currently offers testing for cases involving suspected controlled substance violations. The facility comprises approximately 2200 square feet of administrative, evidence storage, and laboratory areas.
The UAHT Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education is designed to teach students the skills necessary for employment as a funeral director and embalmer. The American Board of Funeral Service Education-accredited program is offered on-campus and online.
For more information about the Funeral Service program and other programs offered at UAHT or to register for classes, please contact the Purtle Advising Center at 870-722-8124, email , or contact your advisor today.