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Kentucky Sheriff Suspends Law Enforcement Activity: ‘Lock Your Doors, Load Your Guns’

In the movie franchise “The Purge,” once a year, all crime becomes legal for a 24-hour period.

It’s a terrifying thought and an idea that should stick strictly to a fictitious movie universe.

Unfortunately for the residents of Martin County in eastern Kentucky, they may have to live a life that hews dangerously close to “The Purge.” All crime isn’t going to be legal, but law enforcement is going to be in short supply.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Sheriff John Kirk told county officials at meeting on Monday that he would be ceasing law enforcement activities in the county due to a stark lack of funding.

Police protection will have to be handled by the Kentucky State Police, the Herald-Leader reported:

“Kirk said he is concerned that residents will not have access to quick law enforcement response without his office. The responsibility now falls solely to Kentucky State Police, which sometimes has just one officer patrolling multiple counties in this mountainous corner of Eastern Kentucky, Kirk said.”

One of the big factors that Kirk cited is the $75,000 he should have received from the fiscal courts in January. He claims to still not have gotten that money.

Exacerbating matters, Kirk claims that his department is now responsible for paying for its own workers’ compensation insurance, retirement, and Social Security benefits. According to Kirk, those benefits and various other expenditures amount to another $99,000 the department must spend.

Due to what he felt was a ridiculous financial burden, Kirk announced that he was officially ceasing all law enforcement services from his office, at least temporarily.

Kirk also laid off the bookkeeper and reduced his office’s hours to 8 a.m. to noon on the weekdays as a result of the lack of funding.

The embattled sheriff took to Facebook in a Feb. 3 post to explain some of his rationale.

I want to address the citizens of our county. I have been your Sheriff for over four years now. It has been a struggle…

Posted by John Kirk on Sunday, February 3, 2019

“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,” Kirk wrote on Facebook.

That last bit rings particularly true.

Few men and women deserve as much credit as the everyday heroes who lay their lives on the line to protect us, be it domestically or internationally. To not pay them for their services is beyond offensive, and frankly, more than a little asinine.

You may not agree with Kirk ceasing law enforcement activities, but you can’t argue that law enforcement should be amply compensated.

“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. I’m sure the thieves and drug dealers will have a ball.”

If there was any question, Kirk laid it out pretty simply in all caps.

“WE ARE BROKE,” he bluntly stated.

For government bureaucracy or ineptitude to get in the way of these brave men and women protecting American citizens is a shame.

Kirk did offer one last bit of advice to the Martin County citizens.

“FOLKS, LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOAD YOUR GUNS AND GET YOU A BARKING, BITING DOG. If the Sheriffs office can’t protect you, WHO WILL ?” Kirk wrote.

Even outside of their actual duties, police officers take an inordinate amount of flak and criticism for daring to protect Americans.

They really should be paid.



  1. Maurice

    February 11, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Great, lets tell everyone in advance???? Something obamass would do.

  2. Hillbilly

    February 11, 2019 at 5:00 am

    That must be a Democratic state. They hate cops unless they need one. They hate guns but are surrounded by armed security. They hate walls but if you cross theirs they will have you arrested. Which means they call the cops to arrest you. Oh…wait…

  3. RP

    February 11, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Kentucky has been a Democrat state for some time, due to coal mining unions. This last election went for Trump, but the woman that was thrown in jail for refusing to give a gay couple a marriage license; was indeed a Democrat.

  4. Wanda

    February 11, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    This is a sad situation! Everybody better load your guns and be ready because this is what it gonna come to in all our states. To each his own😡

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