LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County Coroner’s Office is a vital agency here in Southern Nevada. Its teams are some of the first people to talk to a grieving family and share crucial information with public officials.

8 News Now sat down with our county’s new coroner, Melanie Rouse, and talked her goals for the department and what stands out about cases in our area.

“What I can bring is a new perspective, if anything, and really polish the things we already have in place and kind of fine-tune some of the processes,” she told us.

For the past 15 years, Rouse has diligently worked her way to a director level. She’s from Phoenix, where the climate and case volume are similar to Las Vegas — but she says the amount of tourists is not.

“We don’t always have readily available the next-of-kin that we need to talk to or the records, or things like that, that we may need to review as part of our investigation,” Rouse shared.

She wants to continue to utilize the relationships they made with other public agencies during the pandemic.

“We work to build and prepare and have those relationships ahead, so that in the future, we already have those contacts in place, we understand what the processes are, and we can start addressing it early on.”

Another focal point is bringing in the next generation of medical examiners. As the first female coroner in Clark County, Rouse hopes to inspire students to go down this career path.

“I am still learning every single day of my career,” she shared. “There’s always something new that’s going to present itself; there’s always new developments in technology and science that can really drive forward this field, which is really exciting.”

Currently, there is a national shortage of medical examiners. The Clark County Coroner’s Office is actively recruiting for a variety of positions. They also offer internship and educational opportunities for students.