Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins recently told residents to start arming themselves during a meeting inside the Spring Hill United Methodist Church in Lillington, N.C.
Sheriff Rollins told the crowd of more than 100 people that an upsurge in violence is because of gangs and drugs, reports ABC 11 (video below).
"When I am out with my family, even though I am a cop, I don't go anywhere without a gun," said Sheriff Rollins. "I mean it's sad we have to have that attitude, but I am going to protect myself and my family."
"I want my deputies at your house just as fast as they can when you got a problem, but you better be able to take care of business until we get there if you have to protect your family," added Sheriff Rollins.
According to MyFox8.com, several residents said they were afraid to leave their homes or even go to church because of the local violence.