Madison County Coroner’s Chief Investigator Kelly R. Rogers (right) receives the Award for Public Service commendation from U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton.
Madison County Coroner Stephen P. Nonn is joining in the accolades given to Coroner’s Chief Investigator Kelly R. Rogers by outgoing U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton for Rogers’ ongoing efforts in the area’s anti-heroin initiative.
At the Monday, Dec. 7, monthly meeting of the Madison County Board’s Public Safety Committee, Wigginton presented 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,” Wigginton said. “We determined that in March 2011, when my office began the anti-heroin initiative that was led by my office, the state’s attorneys of Madison and St. Clair counties and the coroner’s office.”
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 the coroner’s office undertakes.
“I am very pleased that U.S. Attorney 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,” Nonn said. “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,” Wigginton told board members. “You should be very proud of the work they do.”
Wigginton, who is leaving his post after five years to resume private practice, concluded his remarks to 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,” Wigginton said.
As for Rogers himself, he said he was humbled to receive the award and following the meeting expressed his gratitude to Wigginton and 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 sad. “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.”