Mohave County Sheriff's Office to patrol Colorado City
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is giving more than $400,000 to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office to pay for patrols in Colorado City. He says it's needed because the town’s police department is effectively controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.
MARK BRODIE: The money will come from assets taken during criminal prosecutions, and Horne got federal permission to use it. He says the outside patrols will protect residents who aren’t, or no longer want to be, members of the FLDS, including reports of women who try to leave the community being apprehended by local police.
TOM HORNE: Up 'til now, it’s been a lawless place, where the only police are favoring one particular religion over other people, and are doing terrible things, like dragging women back who are trying to escape. Now there’s gonna be objective law enforcement there, so that if somebody wants to escape, they can get his protection, rather than going to the local marshals, who would just drag her back. And, when laws need to be enforced, there’s a sheriff there to enforce it objectively.
BRODIE: The state house this year defeated a bill that would have disbanded the Colorado City Police Department, but Horne says this move isn’t circumventing the Legislature. He says he’s optimistic lawmakers will approve a similar bill next year, and that this money will “bridge the gap” until then. In a statement, the Chairman of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors says the money will help provide “legitimate law enforcement in the Colorado City area.”
Updated 6/7/2012 at 3:57 p.m.