Lowndes County Coroner Terrell Means: the “last responder”

Published 1:15 pm Sunday, October 22, 2023

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In 2018, Terrell Means was appointed to the position of Lowndes County Coroner, a title he has held and represented with dignity ever since.

Means said he had always had an interest in law enforcement and has previously served as a fire fighter on the Hayneville Volunteer Fire Department, a correctional officer for the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department, and even as the Lowndes County Sherriff before his appointment as coroner.

According to Means, the public often misunderstands what the duties of a coroner truly entail on a daily basis.

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“People don’t look at the coroner as doing anything other than coming to the scene and pronouncing people dead and then being done with it,” Means said. “That’s just not the whole process. We have to make sure the last time that person was seen, heard from, the date of death, the cause of death. There’s a lot going on and a lot of things we have to document and do, even at two or three o’clock in the morning when we get a call.”

Means said that he followed a path set forth by the Lord which led him to his position as the coroner and that while his career can sometimes be hectic, his role within the community is one he takes great pride in, even when his job is to deliver unfavorable news.

“The most rewarding part of this job is knowing that I am helping the family of a decedent know what’s going on,” Means said. “On the other hand, the most challenging thing is going to tell a loved one that their family member is not coming home.”

White Hall Chief of Police Alvetta Coates gave praise to Means as she discussed the traits that help him excel in his position.

“He [Means] is a very valuable asset to the community within the position he’s in,” Coates said. “He is dependable and he’s dedicated to the position. He loves his job and has a great amount of compassion for the families he works with, I have nothing but great things to say about him.”

Means acknowledged that the support of the community as well as those who he frequently works closely with means a great deal to him, and offered his sincere thanks to all those who have continued to support him.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to thank the citizens of Lowndes County for their support of me,” Means said. “Also, anytime that I’m out in the field working, I’m never alone. I work closely with all the local law enforcement and emergency services and when push comes to shove I never get the chance to tell them ‘thank you’ for the work that they do. I know it can be difficult to have to wait for me to get to a scene, but all of the support from everyone is so much appreciated.”