John Kirk, the sheriff of Martin County, Kentucky, has suspended law enforcement services until further notice.
The temporary shutdown is due to the lack of funds required to pay employees.
On Facebook, the sheriff wrote, “We have no one to blame but some of our former fiscal court for the poor management of our tax dollars. POOR MANAGEMENT is what got us in this mess. FOLKS, LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOAD YOUR GUNS AND GET YOU A BARKING, BITING DOG. If the Sheriff’s office can’t protect you, WHO WILL ?”
On Monday, Sheriff Kirk took the stage without invitation at a fiscal court meeting and, without holding back, expressed his frustration about the lack of funds affecting his agency.
Kirk says he has yet to receive a $75,000 payment from the fiscal court that should have been paid to his agency in January.
Kirk says that the only reasons they have survived this far are because, instead of using the money on equipment, the agency drove patrol cars until the steel belts were showing on tires, plugged their own tires, and continually used faulty equipment in order to be able to pay employees.
“It is illegal to plug an emergency vehicle tire. But if you have no money, you make tough decisions, don’t you?” said Kirk. Adding, “We now have to pay our own fringe benefits. Meaning retirement and other cost’s.”
Kirk says that the state police will have to respond to calls for service, however, the state police are also facing budgetary constraints and lack of manpower.
“I’m very sorry and I apologize to the employees and to the citizens of our county. I am truly sorry,” Kirk wrote.
According to officials, most of Eastern Kentucky faces the same issues.
Thousands of Kentuckians have stated on Facebook that they prefer to protect themselves and take matters into their own hands.
Kirk wrote on Facebook, “Folks, unless the Lord intervenes today we are in trouble.”
We want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the issue?