‘Lock Your Doors, Load Your Guns’: Kentucky Sheriff Suspends Law Enforcement Over Lack of Funding:

A county sheriff in Kentucky suggested residents “lock your doors, load your guns and get a biting, barking dog” after he announced he is suspending all law enforcement activities due to a lack of funding.

Martin County Sheriff John Kirk told the county fiscal court in an unannounced appearance that his office is still owed a $75,000 payment from last month that it had yet not received, according to The Associated Press.

Kirk said he let the sheriff’s office bookkeeper go and reduced office hours to 20 per week.

“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,” Kirk wrote in a Facebook post last week.

“I’m very sorry to tell you this but I want the fine folks of this county to know the truth. WE ARE BROKE,” he added.

The AP reports the lack of funding is due to a drop in coal severance taxes the eastern part of Kentucky receives.

Nearby counties have experienced partial county government shutdowns or a loss of services as a result of decreased funding.

The Kentucky State Police will respond to police calls in Martin County without a local police force.

“We’re going to respond as we always have,” state police spokesman William Perry told the AP.

The Hill has reached out to the Martin County Sheriff’s office for comment on the matter.

The Hill