Alexander County, Il., has had five of its seven police cruisers repossessed, CBS News reports. The recession has reduced tax revenues all over the country, forcing government agencies to cut their budgets. “God willing, we’re going to protect these people and we’re gonna continue with what we got. We’re used to struggling. We’re used to struggling,” said Sheriff David Barkett, based in Cairo, Il.
In addition to losing his cruisers, the sheriff lost three-fourths of his staff, most of them deputies, to budget cuts. At its peak, the staff had 29 full and part timers. Now there are five. Barkett patrols in an SUV the governor loaned him. He works extra-long hours with help from volunteers and Illinois state troopers. Two Florida counties heard about Barkett’s problems. They had older cruisers they didn’t need and are shipping them to their car-needy colleague.