A Kentucky sheriff has advice for residents after he announced the suspension of all law enforcement activities: LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOAD YOUR GUNS AND GET YOU A BARKING, BITING DOG.
Martin County Sheriff John Kirk says he doesn’t have the money to operate the sheriff’s office.
In a Facebook post Kirk stated: “I can’t expect people to work if I can’t pay them. I have a deputy in the academy that is scheduled to go back to Richmond this evening but I can’t afford to pay him. It’s a shame. I have two office staff . I will have to cut one position. I have two court security officers. I will have to cut there also,” Fox 5 News reports.
I want to address the citizens of our county. I have been your Sheriff for over four years now. It has been a struggle…
Here is the post in its entirety:
“I want to address the citizens of our county. I have been your Sheriff for over four years now. It has been a struggle to try to keep 24 hour protection for you and your family. I have had to operate the last little bit with just myself and one other paid deputy. There are volunteers that help when they can. I am going to have to cut even more tomorrow.
I have no choice. I can’t expect people to work if I can’t pay them. I have a deputy in the academy that is scheduled to go back to Richmond this evening but I can’t afford to pay him. It’s a shame. I have two office staff . I will have to cut one position. I have two court security officers . I will have to cut there also. I will have to move my only other deputy to day shift and that will leave no protection on nights.Im sure the thieves and drug dealers will have a ball. I won’t be able to keep the office open but half a day.
We will close the office at noon and won’t be able to do vehicle inspections. Costing our office even more money. Myself and my only paid deputy will have to help with court, Serve papers, And do court ordered transports. The state police will have to answer all complaints.
We have several cases that we are current working on to get ready for the grand jury in the next month or so. I won’t have time to answer complaints as there are only two of us. Law enforcement as we have known for the last four years will not exist. I’m very sorry to tell you this but I want the fine folks of this county to know the truth. WE ARE BROKE.
The last Fiscal court promised 75 thousand dollars to the Sheriffs office that was supposed to be given last month and we didn’t receive one penny. We begin the new year with no money and rely on the fiscal court to help us. The current court says they are broke and even in debt very badly and can’t give us money. I have always tried to manage your tax dollars wisely. But if you don’t have any money you can’t manage it.
My wife has worked many evenings and weekends free of charge to help the Sheriffs office stay afloat. She has a full time job and drives two and a half hours to and from her job everyday. She has saved the tax payers a fortune. Folks, Unless the Lord intervenes today we are in trouble. I hate so bad to have to cut any employees. I hate to cut services but I have no choice.
The county says they are broke and the Sheriffs office has to submit a budget today that takes even more cuts than last year. We now have to pay our own fringe benefits. Meaning retirement and other cost’s . We have to start paying our workers comp and general liability insurance. And I’ve been told to budget $140 thousand instead of the $150 thousand that the county had always contributed. Folks that is a $150 thousand dollar cut from last year. Meaning the county is going to give the Sheriffs office $150 thousand less.
What are the tax payers getting for their money ? I realize the county is broke and in debt. We didn’t get this broke overnight and we won’t rebound overnight. Pray that the Lord will lead us and guide us through this terrible time. If the county could have given us $12,500 per month until July we wouldn’t have to make this drastic of a cut right now.
I have tried to have volunteer deputies from all areas of the county so that we could respond quicker when we get calls. Therefore it takes a few more cruisers that has to be on the insurance. I have worked 16 to 18 hours a day myself to try to serve you, But I too must sleep a few hours. The law requires the Sheriff to collect taxes, Bailiff court and serve papers. We have always provided police protection but without the funding we can no longer do this.
I’m very sorry and I apologize to the employees and to the citizens of our county. I am truly sorry. It’s not Junior Horns or anyone else’s responsibility to fund the Sheriffs office. That’s why we pay taxes. 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 Sheriffs office can’t protect you , WHO WILL ? Folks, Come to the court meetings so that you know what is going on. Special court meeting tomorrow I believe around 1pm. Call the office to be sure.”
Kentucky sheriff suspends law enforcement over lack of funding: ‘Lock your doors, load your guns' https://t.co/3qq5rMMAYg
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) February 12, 2019
The county was unable to give a time frame for when they would be able to make the $75,000 payment to the sheriff’s office.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.