With an annual budget of $2.17 million from the city's general fund and another $400,000 from self-generated funds, Orleans Parish Coroner Jeffrey Rouse's office performs two times as many autopsies than that of Jefferson Parish, which operates on an annual budget of $5.4 million (more than double that of New Orleans). The St. Tammany Coroner's Office has a $4.6 million budget and performs 300 autopsies a year.
"We are the busiest," Rouse told the New Orleans City Council Nov. 11. "Taxpayers are getting a lot for their money."
The Orleans Parish coroner also performs roughly 2,000 psychological evaluations each year and 150 "pauper's burials," serving as a "funeral home of last resort." The office also is responsible for sexual assault evidence collection, overseeing the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners which collect DNA from survivors of assault. The office also created a Victim Allies Project and works with Silence Is Violence to support victims' families.
In July, Rouse — at the beginning of his second year in office — gave his midmidyear budget presentation following a deadly streak of summer violence. On July 2, Rouse tweeted, "4 homicides in 6 hours this afternoon. Four, for Christ's sake."