Magazine article Law & Order

It's Two States in One Town!

Magazine article Law & Order

It's Two States in One Town!

Article excerpt

It's twice the training and paperwork

If there's a universal gripe among law enforcement officers, it's that there's too much paperwork! This is thanks to government regulations that require the mounds of white: City government, county government, state government - even the federal government at times.

Consider, then, the police of Hilldale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. Don't let the two names fool you; it's actually one town, with one high school, one post office (but two zip codes) and one police department - in which officers routinely cross state lines in order to do their job.

The community of about 6,000 people predates statehood for the area ( 1896 for Utah, 1912 for Arizona), said Colorado City Mayor Dan Barlow. "When the state line was drawn, it ran right through the middle of town," he said. It officially incorporated as the two cities in 1985, with Hilldale officially contracting with Colorado City for services, including police.

Unofficially, the community is used to its unique status and doesn't even mark the state line that runs through the middle of town (it's about onethird Hilldale and two-thirds Colorado City, Barlow said). It does have two city governments.

For the department's five full-time and five part-time officers, the border mainly means ensuring that their training is certifiable in both states and grabbing the right ticket book on traffic stops, said Chief (or Marshall, depending on the state) Sam Roundy.

Roundy said officers go through basic training in either state and then seek certification in the other state through waiver, which process includes a written test and some physical testing. "We had three officers at the time of incorporation," he said, "and we went up to Utah and challenged their test, and the officers were waived."

Dealing with duality on a day-today basis has its challenges, Roundy said. "You've got to make sure you're grabbing the right ticket book on a traffic stop, and some of the codes are different as well," he noted. …

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