FLDS: Warren Jeffs town Colorado City police force bill still alive
8 May, 2012
The House recently defeated the bill championed by Attorney General Tom Horne, but it’s alive again. That’s after the Senate on Thursday inserted it into another law enforcement bill already approved by the House.
The maneuver is being attempted as legislators try to end their annual session.
Horne says Colorado City officers who are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day flout the law and are simply replaced by other followers of imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs if removed individually.
Critics say the bill unfairly targets Colorado City and that current officers haven’t done anything wrong.
[April 29]A sharply divided Arizona House on April 25 rejected a bill to allow Mohave County officials to abolish the police department in a northern Arizona community with a polygamous enclave. The House voted 28-25 against the bill as a lawmaker who represents the remote area on the Arizona-Utah line called Colorado City “a different type of community” while acknowledging that some residents practice a form of polygamy. They are married to one individual and the others are celestial, spiritual wives,” said Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman.
[March 5]The attempt to disband the Colorado City police department, in a town populated by followers of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, is proceeding in the Arizona legislature. The proposal would dismantle any department where more than half of the officers have been disciplined in a four-year period
Legislation in Arizona has passed the Senate unanimously and is set to be heard soon in the House, said Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.
He said he is backing the bill after a law enforcement task force “agreed unanimously the first priority was to get objective police who would uphold the law rather than people who would uphold the authority of Warren Jeffs.”
Arizona’s bill proposes disbanding any department where more than half of the officers have been decertified in the past eight years — a designation that applies only to Colorado City. The bill has emergency status in Arizona, which, if it passes, would make it law immediately after the governor signs it, bypassing a typical 90-day waiting period. A similar bill for adjoining Utah town has died.