Small New Mexico Town Has No Police, Just A Dog

Vaughn, NM – The small New Mexico town of Vaughn no longer has a functioning police force, leaving a humble drug-sniffing canine as the sole arbiter of all that is good and just, tasked with defending the town’s innocent civilians.

Alright, we’re being dramatic, but it’s still a funny (and true) story.

After Police Chief Ernest “Chris” Armijo decided to resign his post, a simple drug-sniffing dog was left the only certified member of the police force in the small eastern New Mexico town. Armijo’s decision to step down followed news stories reporting that he wasn’t allowed to carry a gun because of his criminal background—delinquent child support payments and felony weapons charges, reports Newser.

This leaves Nikka the dog as the only qualified member of the Vaughn Police Department. Oh, Vaughn certainly has other officers though, right? Just one, but he’s currently non-certified after pleading guilty to charges of assault and battery last year. Non-certified cops can’t make arrests or carry guns (and neither, to our knowledge, can dogs), so where does that leave Vaughn?

An attorney in the town says that not having a certified officer on staff doesn’t put the town at risk. “England doesn’t allow police officers to carry guns,” he said. “Sometimes the strongest weapon in law enforcement is communication.”

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That’s sweet, but it probably has more to do with the fact that Vaughn boasts a population of 438 and an area of 5.6 square miles. “There’s just a whole lot of nothing going on here,” Penny’s Diner cook and resident Joyce Tabor told the AP. “We have very little crime. It’s quiet. So this really doesn’t matter.”