I came to the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office back in 2014. I’ll be honest, it was not a “profession” or “job” I had ever thought about before. I have worked in various positions throughout the years from being an EMT, Paramedic, Registered Nurse and other volunteer jobs with fire departments and law enforcement. A friend of mine, Misty Lester, told me one day, “Why don’t you come work for the coroner’s office, we could use some help?” It all started there.
My background in all those fields from working the field with EMS around 20 years to Emergency Nursing around 14 years including working in a Trauma Center, to fire (25yrs) and law enforcement “reserve” experience (20 yrs) really added up to a lot of the things needed for doing this job and doing it well. I moved throughout different roles from investigator to deputy coroner, to chief deputy coroner and in 2023 became Interim Coroner. I do whatever I can to improve and with this office, I have done that. We have made so many improvements from our reporting and financial systems to improving the quality of our investigations. We have tried to expand what we have the capabilities of even when faced with a very small budget. We have obtained grant funding for a disaster morgue, rapid fingerprint identification system, and other cost-effective tools which help us to perform our duties with efficiency, speed, and quality.
I’m excited for the things to come over the next four years. I plan on looking for avenues to improve our funding as coroner’s offices across the state are severely underfunded. Most funding relies on laws which haven’t been changed in over 30 years and are based on a “fee for service” schedule. Which are offices like ours are paid for each “case” and other necessary and unavoidable expenses for the operation of the office. Coroner’s offices have to maintain 24/7 coverage not only for death investigations but as well as sexual assault forensic examinations and mental health interdiction needs. Currently we operate on around 180,000 a year to accomplish all these things which include some of the autopsy and toxicology costs, office supplies, operational costs, transportation, payroll, and other expenses. It definitely does not go far.
I am committed to providing the best available service to the citizens of our parish. I am available in our office throughout the week to handle whatever need arises and we will continue to do our absolute best to serve our community. Our community is the reason for what we do and why we do it. You need commitment, passion, and desire to continue learning all that there is to learn to be perform this job well and proficiently.
Steven M. Enlow Clanton
Natchitoches Parish Coroner
Phone 318-357-2260 Fax 318-
P.O. Box 1128 / 203 St Denis Street Ste 116
Natchitoches, LA 71457