Madison County Coroner Chief Investigator Kelly R. Rogers was recently honored by outgoing United States Attorney Stephen Wigginton for his ongoing efforts in the area’s anti-heroin initiative.
At the monthly meeting of the Madison County Board’s Public Safety Committee, Wigginton appeared in person to present Rogers with the “Award for Public Service” commendation.
In a preface to the actual presentation, Wigginton remarked that the metro-east has been ahead of the curve in taking action against the scourge of heroin.
“It took until 2014 before the White House and the Office of Drug Control Policy determined we have a heroin epidemic our nation. We determined that in March 2011, when my office began the anti-heroin initiative that was led by my office, the states attorneys of Madison and St. Clair counties and the coroner’s office,” Wigginton said.
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Wigginton identified Rogers’ role in intelligence gathering and statistical analysis with tracking drug-related deaths, helping to monitor trends and hot-spots of lethal drug activity. As part of his duties as chief investigator, Rogers provides oversight and quality control on the drug-related death investigations that the coroner’s office undertakes.
Of his chief investigator and the award, Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn said: “I am very pleased that U.S. Steve Wigginton recognized Chief Investigator Kelly Rogers for his effort in this ongoing battle with heroin addiction and fatal overdoses in this nation and that has profoundly affected Madison County. Kelly took his assignment to work the intelligence information with the federal government and through his own initiative, broadened his responsibilities and improved the quality and content of information that was being shared. The database he has created has become an effective tool in this ongoing campaign to defeat his epidemic.”
Wigginton’s post as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois covers 38 counties.
“The Coroner’s Office in Madison County with Steve Nonn and Kelly Rogers is the best coroner’s office that I work with in my entire jurisdiction. You should be very proud of the work they do,” Wigginton told board members.
Wigginton, who is leaving the U.S. Attorney post after five years to resume private practice, concluded his remarks to the county board members noting that he was speaking not only in his official capacity, but as a Madison County resident as well.
“You should be very proud that you have employees like Kelly Rogers for Madison County — I know as a taxpayer in Madison County, I’m very proud to have people like Kelly Rogers working in Madison County,” he said.
As for Rogers himself, he was humbled to receive the award and following the meeting expressed his gratitude to Wigginton and to Nonn for the opportunity to work with the other federal and local agencies in the project.
“We still have a long road ahead of us, and I look forward to continuing our work with our federal partners as we continue trying to prevent another tragic death from occurring,” Rogers said. “Since getting into the public safety sector, I have had several mentors in my career. I would like to give a thank you to Chief Deputy Roger Smith. With his knowledge and talent, he has equipped me with the tools to receive such an award.”