New coroner making changes to office

New coroner making changes to office

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - "You never get used to it. And if someone tells you they are used to it, they're in the wrong business. There is no way they can get used to that."

That's something recently appointed Coroner Mark Bowen said he's learned through his 14 years working with the Augusta-Richmond County Coroner's Office.

His path to be the office's leader wasn't exactly typical; as an elected position, voters normally choose who fills that seat.

But when a grand jury indicted Grover Tuten on charges of stealing property from a victim - Tuten eventually resigned - and a judge tapped then Chief Deputy Bowen to take charge.

"Everyone has been really supportive," said Bowen. "A lot of good calls. I feel like everyone is really happy with it, and excited with it."

Part of Bowen's plan to re-build the public's trust is to make his office visible and provide support to grieving families in their time of need.

"My philosophy is, we make eye to eye contact. I don't like phone call notifications - we will not do phone call notifications. I want to make eye to eye contact so we know that person we're talking to."

He's also working on putting together programs for at-risk juvenile offenders to see how serious violent crime can be.

"We're going to work with the court system to work with kids who have been charged with incidents," said Bowen. "Let them come here to see what that final destination is."

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