A polygamist enclave on the Utah-Arizona state line is again running into problems with Utah certification of law enforcement officers, officials say.
Three Colorado City, Ariz., deputy marshals who do not have Utah police officer certification have been cross deputized by the Washington County, Utah, Sheriffs Department, and are apparently patrolling in Hildale, Utah.The men do not have law enforcement authority in the state until they gain certification, said Bill Flink, of the Utah Peace Officers Standards and Training Division.
But officials said Hildale has an agreement with Colorado City for the neighboring Arizona community to provide law enforcement services in the Utah town.
Flink said Utah POST has received several calls from Hildale residents inquiring whether deputies Jed Barlow, Lorin Cooke and Greg Adair have any authority in the state.
Meanwhile, Washington County Sheriff Glenwood Humphries confirmed he cross deputized the officers to have enforcement authority in his county.
It is not the first time law enforcement problems have arisen in the twin communities, controlled by a polygamous hierarchy.
Colorado City Deputy Marshal Sam Barlow was denied Utah peace officer certification last year because he is a polygamist. And his certification in Arizona is the subject of a pending challenge by the state attorney general's office.
Flink said he does not know if Cooke, Adair and Jed Barlow are polygamists. But Washington County Attorney Paul Graf said Humphries has said the three do not practice plural marriage.
Flink said the men applied for Utah certification about one year ago. But they never followed through after they were asked to swear they were not polygamists and each would guarantee they would not take more than one wife without notifying POST.
Utah law allows officers from other states to exercise authority in the state only if they are certified, if they are requested to assist Utah officers or if they reside in Utah and are cross deputized, Flink said.
Hildale Mayor David Zitting said the Utah town has an interlocal agreement for Colorado City to provide law enforcement. He noted, however, Colorado City Marshal Leon Johnson is the only one in the department with Utah certification.
But Johnson no longer works as an officer, having been reassigned to work in the town's road department, said Colorado City Clerk Kevin Barlow. Jed Barlow - one of the deputies involved in the controversy - is acting marshal, said the clerk.