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Testimony Begins In Trial To Disband FLDS Towns' Police Department

A key witness in the government's effort to disband the police department in a polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border has begun testifying about how law enforcement operates in the towns.

Jeff Barlow is the leader of a trust that owns most of the real estate in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah. He told a federal judge Monday that officers in the cities' shared police department work against his group and turned a blind eye to various property crimes. He also says officers routinely let residents ignore eviction notices on homes that aren't supposed to be occupied.

The trust wants a federal judge to appoint a receiver to take over both city government and the police department. A receivership would more give power to those overhauling the city's operations.

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A jury earlier this year found that nonbelievers of the polygamous sect were denied police protection, building permits and water hookups in the towns.