WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed February 22, 2012
Western Kentucky Coroners Upset Over Plan to Close Medical Examiner's Office
Leaders in Henderson County are fighting the state's plan to close the medical examiner's office in Western Kentucky. The fiscal court has passed a resolution opposing the closure of the Madisonville office, which serves 25 counties.
If the office closes as planned on July 1, Western Kentucky counties would have to send bodies to Louisville for autopsies. It's an effort by the state to save money, but Henderson County coroner Bruce Farmer says the costs are being transferred to the counties.
"To Madisonville, it used to cost us $125 to $150 per case to transfer a body to Madisonville. Now, to go to Louisville, it's going to cost us between $500 and $550, and there's some counties paying even more than that," said Farmer.
Farmer adds that sending bodies to Louisville will delay autopsy results, and the distance will take law enforcement away from their jurisdictions for longer periods of time. Daviess County has also passed a resolution, and Webster and Union counties are in the process. The resolutions are being sent to Governor Beshear and Justice Secretary J.Michael Brown.