June 28, 2023 – The County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner will now be called the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner (Department) after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Board) yesterday voted to approve the ordinance for the official name change.
The removal of “coroner” was needed to reinforce the Department's role as an unbiased and independent investigative agency, unattached to any law enforcement agency. Medical Examiner systems require the Chief Medical Examiner to be a physician, certified by the American Board of Pathology in the medical specialty of Forensic Pathology and experienced in the forensic sciences.
“Our commitment to the community and families we serve remains the same – to provide independent, quality death investigation using advanced forensic science,” said Dr. Odey Ukpo, Chief Medical Examiner. “The name change offers clarity in our identity, solidifying our independence from any law enforcement agency and emphasizes our deputy medical examiners as physicians with appropriate training to determine the cause and manner of death for our decedents. I’d like to thank the Board members for their efforts to make this important change in the Department a reality.”
The name change has been in the works since Supervisor Hilda L. Solis’ November 2019 motion, directing the Board to commence the process of changing the Department’s name and updating position titles.
The Department has also updated its seal to remove “coroner” as well.
For more information about the name change and the new position titles, please review the Department Name Change Fact Sheet.