Martin County in eastern Kentucky is in something of a fiscal crisis. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, County Sheriff John Kirk hasn’t received promised funds needed to provide law enforcement services.
A Kentucky sheriff has told the local fiscal court he is suspending all law enforcement activities because of lack of funding.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports , Martin County Sheriff John Kirk took the stage without invitation at a fiscal court meeting Monday. Kirk said his office is still owed a $75,000 payment due in January. He also complained that new obligations placed on his office will add $99,000 to his annual expenditures.
The situation’s gotten so bad that Sheriff Kirk has suspended most law enforcement activity. He posted this message to the citizens of Martin County on his Facebook page:
This may seem like an isolated case of bad fiscal management coming home to roost. But Martin County is a canary in an Eastern Kentucky coal mine.
As the Mercatus Center detailed last year, Kentucky isn’t even the state in the worst financial condition.
The bottom five states in terms of fiscal solvency are Kentucky (#46), Massachusetts (#47), New Jersey (#48), Connecticut (#49), and Illinois (#50).
Will we see similar law enforcement cuts in some of these other fiscally mismanaged states? That isn’t clear. But Sheriff Kirk’s suggestion — “FOLKS, LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOAD YOUR GUNS AND GET YOU A BARKING, BITING DOG” — seems like sound advice no matter how well your state’s affairs have been managed. You are your own first responder…more so in some states than in others.