Forensic Center to Move Near Juvenile Court

By Bill Dries

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. told the Shelby County Board of Commissioners this morning that the county has a new site for the Regional Forensic Center.

The morgue will be built on county-owned land that is now part of the parking area for the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County between Poplar and Washington avenues Downtown.

“The bottom line is that we now have a site that is county-owned just west of Juvenile Court,” Wharton said. “I think it meets the test of complimenting the development that is already going on in that area – the overall goal of keeping most of our medical, our biosciences, UT Health Center, all of that together.”

The deal ends years of searching for a replacement site for the current forensics center on Madison Avenue near the Midtown leg of Interstate 240. The state of Tennessee has agreed to put up $13 million to $14 million to build the facility, equip it and pay operating costs. The state funding is the bulk of the cost.

Because the center will serve areas outside Shelby County, Wharton said counties using the center will also pay part of the bill.

“We are paid by counties outside Shelby County for the autopsies. We’ll be able to increase that thereby offsetting some of the cost to Shelby County,” he said.