Bobby Harris announces for coroner

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2016

AMERICUS — Bobby Harris of Americus has announced his candidacy for the office of Sumter County coroner. In making that announcement, he issued the following.
“I’m Bobby Hancock-Harris and it would be an honor to serve Sumter County as Coroner.
“I am a 1991 graduate of Berean College, where I majored in specialized ministries, and I held ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God. I also graduated with honors from Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service in 1997. I am a licensed funeral director, embalmer, and preneed insurance agent. Together with my mother-in-law, Mary Louise Hancock, my wife and I own and operate Hancock Funeral Home on South Lee Street, which recently celebrated its 51st anniversary. I hold the position of vice president and have been employed by Hancock Funeral Home for the past 23 years.
“I was trained, both professionally and personally, by the very best: my late father-in-law, Larry Hancock, a former Sumter County coroner and long-time funeral director in Americus.
“I moved to Americus in 1992, and am proud to call Sumter County my home. I have been married for 23 years to Lynn Hancock Harris, a Sumter County native and lifelong resident, former Sumter County educator, and herself a licensed funeral director and embalmer. We are very proud of our three children: Angela Harris, Jairus Whitley and Tatum Whitley, and our four grandchildren: Gabe, Nikki, Riley and Brooke.
“I have certified training in mass fatalities with both FEMA and GEMA. Before entering the death care profession, I was registered with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Department of Private Detective/Private Security Agencies Division.
“I am the current Master of M.B.Council Lodge 13, a lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, a position which I have held twice before, in 2010 and 2015, working with our main charity, the Georgia Masonic Children’s Home, and I conduct and officiate Masonic funeral burial rites for families of Masons requesting such. I am also vice president of the Sumter Shrine Club, working with Shriners Children’s Hospitals, and am involved in various other community activities, events, and organizations.
“The Georgia Coroners Association describes a coroner as ‘a government official whose main responsibility is to determine and officially record the manner and cause of deaths that are unexplained or unexpected.’ The Coroner’s office is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week operation which investigates and determines cause and manner of death. The coroner’s office is charged by Georgia law to determine the cause and manner of death by an extensive investigation which may include a post-mortem examination. This investigation is independent of the sheriff, police, and fire department, but is done in conjunction with these other entities.
“If elected to the office of Coroner, I would work to put into place policies and procedures to make the administration of the office more transparent. I pledge that I would work diligently to maintain the public’s trust and confidence.
“I believe that I am qualified for this position and that I have the experience, compassion, community involvement, interpersonal skills, and willingness to listen and learn, all of which are qualities necessary to serve as an adept and efficient Coroner.
“Sumter County is my home, where I live, work, and chose to raise my family.
“I cannot imagine a greater honor than being able to serve this community which has given me so much.”