NASHVILLE—Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Assistant Commissioner David W. Purkey has been appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Medical Examiner Advisory Council as a Board Member. The appointment is effective immediately and runs through June 30, 2014.
“I am honored by this appointment and look forward to serving on the advisory council. I hope to bring my public safety and emergency medical experience to the council as it makes recommendations pertaining to the death investigations in Tennessee,” Purkey said.
The Tennessee Medical Examiner Advisory Council consists of nine members and has the power and duty to review candidates and make recommendations to the commissioner of health on the appointment of the chief medical examiner and deputy state medical examiners. The council also assists the chief medical examiner in the development and updating of guidelines for death investigations and forensic autopsies in Tennessee. Additionally, it issues an annual report on death investigations in the state.
Purkey serves as the assistant commissioner for the department and state homeland security advisor. He has spent his entire career serving the citizens of Tennessee, most recently as the four-term mayor of Hamblen County. Purkey previously served as a trooper in the Tennessee Highway Patrol and a special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. He is also a certified emergency medical technician. Purkey graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public health from East Tennessee State University and earned a master’s degree in public health from The University of Tennessee.