UPDATED 6:36 M PT – Wednesday, February 13, 2019
A Kentucky sheriff is suspending all law enforcement activities due to a severe lack of funding. Martin County Sheriff John Kirk was forced to make the call last week after county officials failed to pay the department $75,000 in funding last month.
Kirk said there are not enough officers to handle calls at night or vehicle inspections, because he only has one deputy left. They will be restricted to collecting taxes and assisting the courts as required by law until they receive funding.
In a jab at the county’s apparent mismanagement of resources, Kirk said “I’m sure thieves and drug dealers will have a ball.”
“We don’t have the manpower to work a murder, we don’t have the manpower to work at night, we don’t have the manpower to work an accident report you know,” explained the sheriff. “We are so short handed and the only deputy that I have working on the street is probably going to be leaving me.”
Much of the severe lack of funding has been caused by a decline in Kentucky’s coal industry. Local residents will now have to rely on state police for protection, which sometimes has just one trooper patrolling multiple counties.
In a last bit of advice for resident, Sheriff Kirk warned citizens to lock their doors and load their guns.