Dye continues to break barriers after being elected coroner in S - KMOV.com

Dye continues to break barriers after being elected coroner in St. Clair County

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ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Following last Tuesday's election, big changes were made in Washington, D.C., and across the country. 

St. Clair County was no exception, as the first black coroner was elected into office. 

Calvin Dye Senior, a name that might sound familiar to some. That is because Dye has been serving the St. Clair County people for nearly 40 years through several different law enforcement positions. This experience, Dye said, will prepare him for his new role moving forward. 

But before 2016, Dye was breaking barriers elsewhere. 

In 1975, Dye became the first black trooper out of the Illinois State Police in Collinsville. A decade later, he was promoted, and specialized in homicide investigations, narcotics, and violent crimes. He also handled street-gang investigations. 

His new title as the coroner will see him conducting the investigations of suspicious and undetermined deaths. 

"St. Clair County has quite a bit of violent crime, most of your crime, your homicides, your armed robberies; most of those are drug related," Dye said. 

Heroin is the biggest drug in the St. Clair County area, and Dye said that's behind a lot of the crime. 

One thing Dye would like to do with his new position would to establish a task force with other agencies and counties. 

"One thing I would like to do....is to get some type of task force with all the social service agencies and other law enforcement agencies throughout the county and adjacent counties, and form some type of task force as far as education, grievances, and other things for the public," Dye said. 

Dye said he would also like to see the improvement of the four struggling Metro East police departments, like Washington Park and East St. Louis. 

With what he has seen in his experience, Dye said the thing he would like to see in the future is to yield. 

"Police departments need to yield a little bit to the public, and the public violators--(and) to the police officers, also," Dye said. "(The departments) have to understand the police officers are sworn to uphold the law, therefore they should yield and obey to a certain extent, to the police officer and (the departments) should yield a little bit more than we have in the past. 

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