TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Gene Turley wants to make his office the best in the state.

In an effort to do just that, Turley recently advanced his professional status by becoming a registered medicolegal death investigator and has been awarded diplomate status in the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.

Turley, who was elected Twin Falls County coroner in November 2012, says the ABMDI certification recognizes that he has demonstrated professionalism in his office.

“My goal is to have my office become the benchmark for Idaho in medicolegal death investigations,” he said. “We’re already certified – I have to give credit to my predecessor for that – but I want this office to be the best in the state.”

To become registered, Turley had to study for a 2.5-hour written test that, among other things, determined his use of logic at crime scenes. ABMDI also considers an applicant’s case load and experience.

Turley's experience stretches back to the 1990s. He worked for seven years as a police office in Moses Lake, Wash., and two years as an officer in Twin Falls. His goal was to become a homicide detective, he said, but when then County Coroner Cal Edwards asked him to serve as his deputy coroner he decided he would give it a try.

“I fell in love with it,” Turley said, noting it eventually led to his campaign run in 2012.

As a registered medicolegal death investigator, Turley's name will be posted on the ABMDI website and he is now eligible to apply for the organization’s highest level of recognition – board certified medicolegal death investigator.

Turley, as he reminisced about the course of his career, says he recognizes that he has found his place.

“This is my calling,” he said.