Lexington Police Error Leads to New Policy

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Every member of the Lexington Police Department will be trained regarding a new department policy that was issued following a delay in treatment for a woman who was badly beaten and mistakenly thought to be dead.

Police Chief Ronnie Bastin said Thursday that the Internal Affairs Unit found that a failure of policy and personnel occurred in the department's response in the case of 44-year-old Umi Southworth.

Police found Southworth behind her home June 9 and, believing her to be dead, called homicide detectives. The coroner's office was called an hour later and, more than an hour after arriving, discovered the woman was actually alive. She died the next day at University of Kentucky Hospital.

Bastin said earlier that normal practice was not to call emergency workers if it seemed clear that a person was dead. But the new policy calls for police to call emergency services even if no sign of life is detected.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)