JEFFERSON, Ohio (AP) -- A judge in an Ohio county is urging citizens to be vigilant and carry firearms because of budget cuts to the sheriff's department.
Ashtabula (ash-tuh-BYOO'-luh) County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey tells Cleveland's WKYC-TV that the cuts mean citizens should arm themselves and watch out for their neighbors.
The northeast Ohio county is the state's largest in area and is mostly rural. With deputies assigned to transport prisoners and serve warrants, one radio car is assigned to patrol 720 square miles.
Sheriff William Johnson has threatened to sue county commissioners to have some of his department's funding restored.