Danny Theriot: Chief Investigator

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Alexa Elsik
Danny Theriot – Chief Investigator
March 19, 2014 Danny Theriot is the Chief Investigator at the Office of the Coroner in Terrebonne Parish. He has been with the Sheriff’s Office for twenty-eight total years. Chief Theriot has also been with Terrebonne Parish’s Water Patrol, Criminal Patrol Division as an assistant shift supervisor and a school resource officer. Danny is certified for the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training along with numerous training in other fields. He has been introduced to the Forensic Pathology field and has taken the Medico legal Death Investigations course at the St. Louis School of Medicine. He is also the acting coroner when on a fatality scene. When he got this job, he wasn’t looking for it. He was previously working for the Sheriff’s Office but when the new sheriff came in he lost his job. So he started at the Coroner’s Office as a part time investigator. Then when one of the investigators became ill, he was offered a full time position. For the past two years he has been the Chief Investigator. As I was looking for someone to interview, I called the Coroner’s Office and Chief Theriot was thrilled that I asked to interview him. He is very ecstatic to see young students interested in the forensic world. He stated that when he sees students that want to learn something new and be in a hands on environment, he predicts that those students will be the ones to succeed in their choice of career. Chief Theriot’s education background is not very complex. He has his high school diploma. He does not have any degrees. She does have training in the police academy as well asd training in the U.S. Customs Service Blue Lightning cross training and a Special React Team. Although it is not necessary to have a degree in this field, when being interviewed for a position, they like to hire people that have a college background. All requirements vary by agency as to what their requirements are. Here in Houma you do not need a degree to become an investigator. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of medical and biological terminology and practices. Chief Theriot stated that he doesn’t always have a typical day at work. Some days are spent in the office doing paperwork and reports for previous fatalities and then there are also other days that are spent in the field if there was a fatality that occurred that day. A few typical job duties for the field would be determining the cause of death, the manner of death, and the time of death. In all cases you must also draw blood to see if there was alcohol involved in the fatality. You must include all suspicious, violent, unexplained, and unexpected deaths. When on a fatality scene you must document how the body is positioned and if there are any visible wounds. It is illegal to move the body unless you are trying to keep it from getting burned or dismembered. The only person allowed to touch the body is the coroner. The reason for this is because you don’t want to ruin any evidence they may possibly have on that body. The typical working hours for the investigators here in Houma are seven and seven. However, you may be off but you are always on call in case of a very serious emergency. Sometimes you may be called in and then find out that you have to work the entire week, but then your time is worked out in the end. Overtime is determined by how much overtime you have worked. Investigators are the ones that have to investigate the body at the scene to see if they will need to further investigate. If they do, then the body will be transported to a morgue and a full autopsy will be conducted. Death investigators also have secondary duties that include testifying in court, working with law enforcement and