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Hoover Dam Police

Hoover Dam Police
Bureau of Reclamation Police badge only worn by the Hoover Dam Police
Agency overview
Formed 1931
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Hoover-Mead Security Zone, United States
Size 22 sq mi (57 km2)
Governing body Bureau of Reclamation
General nature
  • Civilian agency
Operational structure
Headquarters Boulder City, Nevada
Agency executive Mary Hinson, Chief of Police
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Hoover Dam Police, officially the Bureau of Reclamation Police, is a federal police force, stationed at Hoover Dam 23 miles (37 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Reclamation Police Officers are stationed only at Hoover Dam.[1] Hoover Dam was both listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985.[2][3] Hoover Dam has been designated as National Critical Infrastructure. The primary responsibilities of the Hoover Dam Police Officer are to protect the dam, the world's 38th-largest hydroelectric generating station, which provides about 2080 megawatts,[4] its associated structures, and to safeguard the lives of visitors and employees. The Hoover Dam Police are assisted by unarmed Bureau of Reclamation Security Guards who control access to reclamation facilities and deter individuals who might consider criminal activities or terrorist acts.


  • Security concerns 1
  • Hoover-Mead Security Zone 2
  • Duties 3
  • Organization 4
  • Training 5
  • Popular culture 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Security concerns

Because of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Hoover Dam Bypass project was expedited and traffic across the dam was restricted.[5] Some types of vehicles were inspected prior to crossing the dam while semi-trailer trucks, buses carrying luggage, and enclosed-box trucks over 40 feet (12 m) long were not allowed on the dam at all.[6] That traffic was diverted south to a Colorado River bridge at Laughlin, Nevada. Once the bypass opened on October 19, 2010, all through traffic was rerouted on it; the roadway on the dam is now open only to employees and dam visitors.[7]

Hoover-Mead Security Zone

The Hoover-Mead Security Zone encompasses 22 square miles (57 km2) around Hoover Dam and Lake Mead; before the opening of the bypass, this included 3.3 miles (5 km) of U.S. Highway 93 (US 93).[8][9] Vehicles had to pass through inspection checkpoints, located on US 93 one mile (1.6 km) north of the dam in Nevada, and nine miles (14 km) south of the dam in Arizona, before crossing.

With the opening of the bypass, traffic patterns changed dramatically. Through traffic no longer goes through a checkpoint on either side of the river. On the Nevada side, the dam road now branches off US 93 before the checkpoint, which remains in operation to screen dam visitors. On the Arizona side, the road across the dam dead-ends in parking lots, no longer connecting to US 93. This made the Arizona checkpoint unnecessary.[7]

The Nevada checkpoint is manned by Hoover Dam Police and Bureau of Reclamation Security Guards plus contracted private security personnel, as was the Arizona checkpoint before its closing. Personnel at the checkpoint may inspect any vehicle at any time before it is allowed to pass through and cross the dam.


Hoover Dam Police Officer on bike patrol.

The Hoover Dam Police are responsible for the enforcement of federal and state laws and regulations in the security zone in both Nevada and Arizona; and to provide assistance for local and federal law enforcement agencies, such as handling motor vehicle accidents, traffic violations, public assistance, and the apprehension of wanted persons.

Hoover Dam Police Officers perform a variety of duties and are skilled in law enforcement techniques, as well as public relations. Their duties include traffic control, manning a stationary post, and conducting foot or roving vehicle patrols. Police officers patrol perimeters, areas open to the public, and restricted access areas to detect violations and enforce laws and regulations, including trespass and other crimes against persons and property. Police officers assist other federal and state law enforcement agencies with investigations. Police officers also conduct routine physical security checks of buildings, parking areas, gates, fences, and restricted access areas throughout the facility.


Headquartered in Boulder City, Nevada,Chief of Police is Former NPS Chief of Police Mary Hinson. Former Chief's of Police, Anthony M. Losito


Hoover Dam Police officers tactical training

Training received will depend on the needs of the individual and the agency. Specialized on-the-job training will be provided. Specialized training may include information about reclamation dams and how the facilities operate, their vulnerabilities, and methods of protecting the facility, its employees, and the public against criminal activity and terrorist acts. In addition, Hoover Dam Police officers attend up to 12 weeks of law enforcement training at the Artesia, New Mexico prior to full employment.

Popular culture

  • In the 1997 film Fools Rush In, the character Isabel Fuentes Whitman (played by Salma Hayek) delivers a baby on the Hoover Dam assisted by the Hoover Dam Police.
  • In the 2007 film Transformers, the Hoover Dam Police were shown providing external security to Sector 7.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Staff. "Hoover Dam". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Retrieved September 27, 2007. 
  3. ^ Middleton, Joan; Feller, Laura (May 31, 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Hoover Dam (aka Boulder Dam until 1947)]" (PDF). National Park Service.  (Includes informative drawing of how the dam works) and Accompanying photos, from 1967 and 1997 PDF (1.57 MB)
  4. ^ Staff (January 30, 2006). "Frequently Asked Questions".  
  5. ^ Illia, Tony; Cho, Aileen (December 7, 2009). "Buffeted by High Winds and Setbacks, a Bypass Is Making History Near Hoover Dam". Engineering News-Record (New York:   "After Sept. 11, 2001, more than 2,000 trucks a day have been diverted away from the dam."
  6. ^ Staff. "Crossing Hoover Dam: A Guide for Motorists" (PDF). Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Coleman, Rich; Hansen, Kyle (October 20, 2010). "Hoover dam bypass bridge opens to traffic".  
  8. ^ Lower Colorado Region (February 2011). "Hoover Dam Police Department: About Us". Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved March 1, 201. 
  9. ^ Winton Warner, John; Sweatman, Beverly (2001). Federal Jobs in Law Enforcement (2nd ed.). Lawrenceville, NJ: Peterson's.  

External links

  • Official site
  • DOI Law enforcement site
  • DOI jobs
  • Tips for Crossing the Dam
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