Representatives of the Dutchess County Medical Examiner's Office fielded questions from an audience gathered at an educational forum on Thursday night.

When discussing the statutory authority of the ME's office at a mass-casualty incident, one audience member asked if the forensic office would have jurisdiction over a crashed UFO within the county's borders. As it turns out, they would.

The job of the medical examiner's office is to determine the cause and manner of death of any death caused by accident, suicide, or homicide, including any extra-terrestrial beings that succumbed to injuries sustained in a wrecked craft.

The Dutchess County Medical Examiner's office relies on a cache of trained volunteers who are part of the Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County (MRC), and depending on the size and nature of the incident, such as a crashing vehicle from another galaxy, the MRC might be called in to assist with data collection and documentation of evidence.

According to the Chief Forensic Investigator for Dutchess County, Robert Bready, the medical examiner's office is empowered to conduct autopsies without next-of-kin permission, on all decedents when the cause and manner of death are relevant to an accident, suicide, or homicide.

Dutchess County is seeking to add volunteers to the Medical Reserve Corps. Individuals with or without a healthcare background are encouraged to call the MRC Coordinator, Joe Ryan at 845-486-2493.