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Congressman details Bunkerville safety concerns in letter to sheriff

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Updated: 4/28/2014 5:17 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNY -- Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford has detailed his concerns about safety in the Bunkerville area in a letter to Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

The letter, dated Sunday, says, in part, "residents of Bunkerville and the surrounding area have expressed concern over the continual presence of multiple out-of-state, armed militia groups that have remained in the community since the Bureau of Land Management halted its actions to impound the cattle of Cliven Bundy earlier this month."

The letter said people have expressed concerns about members of the militia groups (1) having setup checkpoints where residents are required to prove they live in the area before being allowed to pass, (2) militia members have established a persistent presence along federal highways and state and county roads and (3) have established an armed presence in or around community areas including local churches, schools and other community locations.

The letter goes on to state "their continual presence has made residents feel unsafe and maligned a quiet community's peaceful reputation."

“I am greatly concerned about the safety and well-being of my constituents after meeting with local community members this past week,” Horsford said in a news release. “I urge Sheriff Gillespie to investigate these reports, as this sort of intimidation cannot be tolerated.”

Horsford has met with local leaders and residents in order to peacefully resolve the ongoing situation that has arisen since the BLM halted its impound actions.

“We must respect individual constitutional liberties, but residents of and visitors to Clark County should not be expected to live under the persistent watch of an armed militia,” the letter reads. “Residents have expressed their desire to see these groups leave their community … I urge you to investigate these reports and to work with local leaders to ensure that their concerns are addressed in a manner that allows the community move forward without incident.”

Horsford’s office said it has made contact with appropriate federal agencies to inform them of the public safety concerns and has asked these agencies to stay abreast of the situation and to work with the local sheriff to resolve the issue expeditiously.

A spokesman for the sheriff said Gillespie received the letter via email on Sunday evening and has been aware of various instances of such conduct and is investigating. No arrests have been made or charges filed yet.

Also on Monday, the Mesquite Police Department issues a statement about safety in the community.

Throughout the past of couple weeks, there has been a flood of nationwide television coverage in the Mesquite area, specifically Bunkerville, Nevada. The Mesquite Police Department has received numerous inquiries as to the safety of our residents and those who visit Mesquite. We too, have heard the reports, rumors, and innuendos, which have been circulating about our community and potential incidents taking place in Mesquite. Therefore, the Mesquite Police Department, would like to take this opportunity to put any concerns to rest.

"During the Bundy and Bureau of Land Management dispute, there were indeed a few criminal incidents that did take place in Mesquite, however they were few in number and never was anyone or their safety at immediate risk. Each incident was either investigated or is currently in the process of being investigated. The outcome of each of the incidents does not pose a threat or risk to residents or visitors of our community. If a public safety concern were to arise the Mesquite Police Department would make immediate notifications to the public," the statement read in part,

Mesquite Chief of Police Troy Tanner said, “Mesquite is a safe place to live, work, and visit and continues to be safe. Regardless of the reported incident(s), the men and women of the Mesquite Police Department will continue to focus on our mission, which is to safeguard the lives, property and constitutional rights of all; while effectively providing proactive services with professionalism, honor, and integrity.”



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