Utah Delegation Seeks to Restore Local Control of Law Enforcement
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to concerns expressed by local law enforcement and elected officials, Utah’s Congressional delegation today introduced H.R. 4751, the Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act of 2016. This bill eliminates law enforcement functions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service on federal land, and instead grants authority to local law enforcement.
Congressmen Rob Bishop (UT-01), Jason Chaffetz (UT-03), Chris Stewart (UT- 02), and Congresswoman Mia Love (UT-04) released the following statement upon introduction of the bill:
“Federal agencies do not enjoy the same level of trust and respect as local law enforcement that are deeply rooted in local communities. This legislation will help deescalate conflicts between law enforcement and local residents while improving transparency and accountability. The BLM and U.S. Forest Service will be able to focus on their core missions without the distraction of police functions. This is a win all around."
Click here to view full bill text.
What the Bill Does:
- Terminates the law enforcement function within BLM and Forest Service.
- Provides block granted funding to local law enforcement.
- Deputizes local law enforcement to defend federal land.
- Establishes a formula to reimburse local governments for law enforcement on public lands based on the percentage of public land in each state.
- Restores responsibility for law enforcement to elected officials who are accountable to the local community.