Our action serves to represent those who can no longer speak for themselves; to assume jurisdiction over persons who have succumbed to injuries, accidental or by the hands of another by unlawful means; ensuring the decedent and their survivors are treated with the highest levels of dignity and respect.
Goals & Objectives:
The goal of the Coroner's Office is to provide the citizens of Berks County with thorough, complete and professional investigations.
About the Department:
The Coroner's Office is mandated by law to investigate deaths independent and parallel to Law Enforcement. The office determines cause and manner of all sudden, unexplained and unnatural deaths, as well as natural deaths that were unattended.
The Office investigates approximately 4,200 deaths each year with approximately 90% being of natural causes.
About the Coroner:
The Coroner is elected by the qualified electors of Berks County for a four year term. The elected Coroner and his appointed Chief Deputy and full-time Deputies are required to complete at least 40 hours of instruction through the PA Coroner's Education Board. They are certified upon completion of an examination. The Coroner, Chief Deputy, and all full-time Deputies are required to have at least 8 hours of continuing education annually. In this county, all part-time Deputies also receive the same training as full-time Deputies.
Being involved with high school and college programs; serve on professional death review teams, such as: Berks County Children & Youth Services (Child Fatal/Near Fatal and Safe Sleep), Berks County Area Agency on Aging (Elder Abuse Task Force), Safe Berks (STOP), Berks County Opioid Task Force (SOS Berks), Berks County Suicide Prevention Task Force (RUOK Berks). and any other organization requesting our help. The Coroner provides information to other professional organizations such as Berks County Courts, District Attorney, Probation & Parole Office (County and State), Legislative Offices (State and Federal), news media, etc.
The Coroner needs to be proactive in the community to help eliminate needless deaths.
The Coroner may appoint one or more Deputies to act in his place and stead, as he may deem proper and necessary. Such Deputy or Deputies shall have the same powers as the Coroner.
Office of the Coroner
1047 MacArthur Road, Suite 200
Reading, PA 19605
Office: The Coroner's Office is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year. For copies of reports, please contact the office and ask to speak with George Holmes, Open Records Officer. For general business, normal office hours are from 8:30 A.M. til 4:30 P.M. Outside of these hours, please contact the on-duty Deputy for help and information.