MESQUITE, Nev. – With national media attention focused on the recent dispute between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management, the Mesquite Police Department have been asked repeatedly about the safety of residents and visitors to the area. Mesquite, Nev., is next door to Bunkerville, Nev., where the Bundy Ranch resides.
“We too, have heard the reports, rumors, and innuendos, which have been circulating about our community and potential incidents taking place in Mesquite,” the Mesquite Police Department said in a statement. “Therefore, the Mesquite Police Department, would like to take this opportunity to put any concerns to rest.”
The Bundy-BLM dispute heated up between April 5-12, and culminated in a standoff between armed BLM rangers and Bundy supporters, some of whom were also armed. The BLM ultimately withdrew, and released cattle it had been gathering.
Over the last 20 years Bundy and the BLM has been at odds since the rancher stopped paying grazing fees that allowed his cattle graze on public lands. As a last resort, the BLM announced it was going to start impounding Bundy’s trespass cattle. Altercations between the Bundys and the BLM went viral online and triggered an influx of supporters from out of state – including armed militia members.
More detail on Cliven Bundy and his dispute with the BLM can be found here.
“During the Bundy and Bureau of Land Management dispute, there were indeed a few criminal incidents that did take place in Mesquite,” the police said in the statement, “however they were few in number and never was anyone or their safety at immediate risk.”
Mesquite Police Chief Tanner said in the statement:
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.
None of the events that occurred between the BLM and the Bundys occurred in Mesquite, Nev., but rather along a stretch of Highway 170 where the Bundy Ranch resides and is counted as a part of the Bunkerville area. The armed standoff between the BLM and Bundy supporters took place in a wash by Interstate 15. No shots were fired and no one was harmed in the incident.
Though a number of armed militia member remain at the Bundy Ranch to act as a kind of private security force for the Bundys, their presence has thus far remained quiet and uneventful since of the April 12 standoff.
“If a public safety concern were to arise the Mesquite Police Department would make immediate notifications to the public,” the Mesquite Police said in the statement.
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