Monroe County coroner Joey Proctor has announced that after careful consideration and many conversations with family, friends and colleagues, he will again be a candidate for coroner in the Republican Primary on May 19.
“I have served the citizens of Monroe County faithfully and honestly for the past 24 years in this capacity and I would like to continue to be of service to this great county and its citizens,” said Proctor.
Proctor acknowledged he has had some significant medical issues and surgeries in the past year and has been unable to respond to calls in the manner that he would like. But he said he’s well on the road to a complete recovery and will once again be able to perform the job of Monroe County Coroner at 100 percent. During the time he was recovering, Proctor said, his three deputy coroners stepped up and did what needed to be done while keeping him informed of all of the cases on which they were working.
“I am very lucky to have Jessica Williams, Bill Urquhart and Rufus Adams as my Deputy Coroners,” said Proctor. “Each of them has a background in the Emergency Medical field, enabling them to serve with efficiency and knowledge that is above par.”
Proctor said during the campaign he will be contacting as many voters as possible. But due to the size of Monroe County and the tremendous increase in population, he said he will not be able to conduct a door-to-door campaign and see each voter personally.
“I look forward to talking with any individual or group that wishes to learn about the Coroner’s office and my plans for the next four years,” said Proctor.
Proctor said there are a few points that he would like for voters to consider in the upcoming election:
Research your candidates on-line. There are many relatively inexpensive search engines that specialize in this kind of information. Be informed. Knowledge is power. This goes for candidates in any election, not just the Coroner race.
“When I first ran for Coroner in 1992, I ran on the platform that a Coroner’s Office should not be run out of a funeral home nor by funeral home employees,” Proctor said. “I still believe this is a conflict of interest and that the entities should be kept separate.”
Proctor added, “I am a strong advocate for organ and tissue donation. I believe that each family deserves the right to make an informed decision about their loved one becoming a donor. This is a tragic time for the grieving family, but donation turns tragedy and loss into something positive. The benefits that could potentially come from a donation include saving lives and improving the quality of life. I would never push donation on a family. My only wish is for them to have the opportunity to honor their loved one’s wishes to donate or decide for themselves if donation is right for their loved one.”
Proctor said although it is not required by Georgia law, he also has a background in Emergency Medical Services.
“The knowledge that comes from hands-on experience gives my Coroner’s office a general knowledge of disease processes and an understanding of the mechanism of injury in accident cases,” said Proctor. “It makes it easier to communicate with local physicians as well as the doctors from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Sometimes the job of Coroner is a juggling act in trying to ensure that we comply with the laws and with the wishes of a family at the same time. The trust and rapport that I have established with the Medical Examiner’s Office throughout my years of service makes it easier to resolve issues when they arise.”
Proctor said he has been involved in some type of community service his whole life, listing the following in his background:
• Justice of the Peace (1970’s)
• Charter Member of Monroe County Fire Department (1970 - 1987)
• Volunteer Fire Fighter / EMT (1990 - 1997)
• Coordinated the annual C.A.R.E. Cottage Toy Run - 15 Years
• Raised $12,000 last year for children in Monroe County
• Coroner for last 24 Years
Proctor said serving as Coroner has afforded him the opportunity to help many families through tough situations and loss.
“It is a hard job that requires compassion, empathy and respect,” said Proctor. “I hold each family that I have worked with over my years as Coroner close to my heart. With your vote, I will continue to take care of the families in our county and treat them as I would my own family.”