Utah, Arizona Lawmakers Try to Eliminate Polygamous Town's Police

While former polygamy sect leader Warren Jeffs is serving his time in prison for marrying and sexually assaulting minors, lawmakers are trying to take down his town’s authority.
by | March 6, 2012
 

While former polygamy sect leader Warren Jeffs is serving his time in prison for marrying and sexually assaulting minors, lawmakers are trying to take down his town’s authority.

Last week, a bill that would have wiped out the Hildale, Utah, police department died in the Legislature, but will likely be reintroduced next year, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. People have complained for years that the police department home to Jeffs discriminates against nonmembers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The bill failed, however, because although its purpose is to shut down the Hildale police department, some were worried that it would have unforeseen consequences for smaller towns. The bill called for the closure of any police department -- not just Hildale’s -- where more than half of the officers have been disciplined in the past four years, according to the Tribune.

In Arizona, however, a similar bill still has a chance because it would disband only the police department in Colorado City -- Hildale’s border town -- if more than half of the officers have been decertified in the past eight years. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and continues onto a House committee next. If it passes, the law would take effect immediately after being signed by the governor, reports the Tribune.

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