A judge has rejected a request by the federal government to disband the shared police department in a polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border as a punishment for a religious discrimination verdict against the sister cities.
The order Tuesday by U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland instead requires police procedures to be revised and an independent mentor be appointed to the police chief in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah.
Holland says other police agencies accused of wrongdoing that included deaths didn't face disbandment.
The request was a response to a 2016 verdict that found the towns denied nonbelievers police protection and building permits.
The towns were accused of operating as an arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a radical offshoot of mainstream Mormonism.