A police force in a US town has quite literally gone to the dogs.
The Police Chief of the town of Vaughn in New Mexico has stepped down, leaving a drug-sniffing dog, Nikka, as the only qualified member of the entire Police Department.
Police Chief Ernest "Chris" Armijo decided to resign after it was revealed that he was no longer allowed to carry a weapon, due to a longstanding criminal case against him, and new felony charges being brought after he was accused of selling a publicly-owned rifle and keeping the proceeds. The only other officer in Vaughn is not certified, and is himself due to be sentenced for charges of assault and battery after pleading guilty last year.
The town has only 450 residents, and is located 104 miles to the east of Albuquerque and, while crime is very low, it is reportedly a popular place for drug traffickers: hence the role of Nikka.
Guadalupe County's Police Department is now helping to patrol Vaughn, with authorities still to decide whether to replace Armijo, or plough on with just the one uncertified officer. The twist in the 'tail' is that Nikka is looked after by Armijo - it remains to be seen whether he will be reclaimed by the town, or left to see out his dog days in retirement.