ST. GEORGE, Utah – A polygamous police chief who patrols his own small Arizona town and one across the border in Utah may lose his status as a peace officer in both states.
Administrative Law Judge Richard Wyss has recommended Utah revoke certification for Colorado City, Ariz., Police Chief Sam Roundy.
The Utah Division of Peace Officer Standards and Training, meeting next week, is expected to approve that recommendation, said Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith. Roundy and his officers also patrol nearby Hildale, Utah.
Both small communities are dominated by The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Utah and Arizona prohibit polygamy in their state constitutions.
Colorado City’s seven-member police force is cross-certified to work in both states.
“Every cop has a religion, but religion doesn’t run my job,” Roundy told the Deseret Morning News on Tuesday. “We grew up in this culture and we’re part of it. It’s religious persecution going after polygamy, that’s all it is.”
Roundy said he expected Arizona would probably also revoke his certification if Utah did.