Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn

EDWARDSVILLE - After nearly 50 years in law enforcement, Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn announced today he will retire after his term ends in the fall of 2024.

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Nonn had this statement: “I have been fortunate to work with incredibly dedicated and professional police officers and deputy coroners throughout my career. The men and women of the Madison County Coroner’s Office are the absolute best in the field of medicolegal death investigations. I am so very proud and honored to have been their leader. For me, leaving this outstanding group of dedicated investigators will be the hardest part of retiring."

Nonn was elected Coroner (with 64 percent of the vote) in 2000, campaigning on his law enforcement credentials, including his 26 years with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and 20 years serving as an investigator and Deputy Commander on the St. Louis Area Major Case Squad. Nonn’s first act after being sworn in was staffing the Coroner’s office 24/7, 365 days a year.

Over his six terms as Coroner, Nonn has continued to professionalize his department – establishing an education mandate requiring full-time investigators (including himself) to receive certification through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. The Office also has five investigators serving on the St. Louis Major Case Squad – making it the only Coroner’s office in Illinois or Missouri with members on this prestigious investigative unit.

Nonn says he is especially proud to have helped establish the Madison County Heroin Task Force and Drug Smart Awareness Program, addressing the opioid crisis in the County. Nonn and members of the organization presented the drug program to over 30,000 students in Madison, St. Clair and Christian Counties.

Nonn said serving the citizens of Madison County has been a humbling experience.

“I’ve met people from all walks of life, many of them on one of the worst days of their life. So I’ll carry some memories with me when I leave this office. But, I’d like to think I did a good job for these families. And in the end, that’s what matters most to me. “I’m grateful to the people of Madison County who believed in me and stood by me the last 24 years – my family, friends and loyal supporters, people who honored me with their vote every election, leaders and members of all the unions and the Democrat Party.” As for the future, Nonn says, “Who knows? My wife Sue, would tell you after five days of retirement I’ll be ready to get back to work – wherever that might be!”

About Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn July 13, 2023, one of my first orders of business after being elected Madison County Coroner was to insure that this office was manned 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

During my six terms in office and relying on my law enforcement experience, these are some of the other things that I am proud to have accomplished:

This Coroner’s office has five investigators who are active members of the St. Louis Major Case Squad, no other coroner’s office in Missouri or Illinois have members on the Squad.

This Coroner’s Office has five investigators on the Southern Illinois Child Death Task Force.

Established an educational mandate that required all full-time investigators of the Madison County Coroner’s Office, including myself, to pass the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators examination. This organization is an independent professional certification board that promotes the highest standards in death investigations.

Currently there is one new investigator preparing to take the test and the remaining investigators have either have earned a Fellow status (4 investigators) or a Diplomate status (5 investigators) with this Board.(5 investigators)

Assisted in writing the Madison County Homicide and Questionable Death Protocol that is agreed to and followed by all Police and Fire Departments in Madison County.

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Instituted a uniform report-writing system that made death investigations an easier and more fluid process to document and store data.

Wrote and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure manual for this Office.

Doubled the number of public and school presentations concerning the functions of this office and the potential dangers that can lead to untimely deaths, focusing on the nationwide opioid epidemic.

Continued education in mass disaster and bio-chemical terrorism preparations not only to my full-time deputies but to the 30 volunteer deputies that I have recruited and prepared to assist in mass causality events.

Sponsored nursing home deaths and elderly abuse seminars with special attention directed to volunteer deputy coroners assigned to funeral homes in Madison County on how to spot potential abuse and report it to this Office. Additional seminars are planned this year.

Instituted a college intern program in this office for college credit and have had students from SIUE, St. Louis University, Lewis and Clark College and Southwestern Illinois College participate.

Began the first annual reporting of the statistics of the Coroner’s Office to the citizens of Madison County

Founding member of The Society of Medicolegal Death Investigators.(SOMDI)

Founding member of the Drug Smart Awareness program that educates school children and parents concerning the growing national problem with heroin and prescription drug abuse.

Began the Madison County Elder Abuse/Fatality Review Team, only the second Coroner’s Office in the State of Illinois to have such a team. During my tenure in office,

Recognized by NAACP- Alton Branch, - received Civic Service Award in recognition of service to Citizens of Madison County.

Received the “George Lanxon Award” in Recognition of Exemplary Public Service from the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association (SIPCA) and Southern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission (SILEC).

Received the “Above and Beyond Award” from Department of Defense, for employer support of those in the National Guard and Reserves.

Received “Friend of Labor Award” from AFL-CIO Greater Madison County Federation of Labor.

Special Recognition Award from State of Illinois for Outstanding Contribution to the Investigation of Arson

Nonn closed by saying: "What is most meaningful to me and my staff of investigators is that we truly believe in and ascribe to the belief that the high road to service is traveled with integrity, compassion and understanding. The citizens of Madison County, who need this office in times of family crisis, don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. I know we do this as a matter of routine day in and day out."

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