Martin County, KY sheriff cuts staff and services because of no money in budget

    Martin County Sheriff John Kirk cuts staff and services because of no money in his budget. (WCHS/WVAH)<p>{/p}

    Martin County, Kentucky Sheriff John Kirk says his department cannot provide law enforcement at the present time. The reason he says is no money in the budget for deputies because his budget keeps getting cut.

    Monday afternoon the Martin County Fiscal Court approved the sheriff's budget of $140,000. Trouble is, the county doesn't have the money because they are still trying to get a handle on the thousands in debt they inherited from the previous administration.

    "We pay taxes for the purpose of police protection. Am I upset? Sure I'm upset," said Sheriff Kirk.

    He vents his frustration in martin County Fiscal Court over no money in his budget to protect the public, leaving that to help from volunteer deputies and the Kentucky State Police.

    "The former county judge is what got us in the shape we are in, and the puppets that went along with him on every single vote he had. The puppets, somebody you could control and say pay them this," said Sheriff Kirk.

    Monday morning the sheriff cut staff and services. Now the department has Sheriff Kirk, a deputy working day side, an office manager, a court security officer and 2 bailiffs.

    "We have to serve papers. We've got papers to serve for the court, transports, drug rehabs those sorts of things. There is no way that I can provide law enforcement right now," said Sheriff Kirk.

    Meanwhile, the fiscal court approved the sheriff's budget with payment of $75,000 now when the county gets the money, but that's not the only money the sheriff's department received. Monday morning the sheriff received a $500 donation from Zion United Baptist Church in Martin County.

    "We felt that we needed to help the sheriff out as much as possible, so it came through an offering from the people's heart," said Dennis Hughes, Assistant Pastor of Zion United Baptist Church

    Sheriff Kirk says he plans to do the best he can to get what he can afford for his department.

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