Hoover Dam Police
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyUnited States
Operations jurisdictionUnited States
Size22 sq mi (57 km2)
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersBoulder City, Nevada
Agency executive
  • Vacant, Chief of Police
Parent agencyUnited States Bureau of Reclamation
Official website Edit this at Wikidata

The Hoover Dam Police, officially the Bureau of Reclamation Police, was a federal security police force, stationed at Hoover Dam 23 miles (37 km) southeast of Las Vegas under the command of the US Bureau of Reclamation. Reclamation Police Officers were 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 were to protect the dam, the world's 57th-largest hydroelectric generating station, which provides about 2,080 megawatts,[4] its associated structures, and to safeguard the lives of visitors and employees. The Hoover Dam Police were 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.


On October 1, 2017, the Hoover Dam Police Department was closed[5] and the National Park Service took over law enforcement duties for the Hoover Dam.

National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers from Lake Mead National Recreation Area now provide comprehensive federal law enforcement and emergency services for the facility and its visitors.

The Bureau of Reclamation has assigned an armed Bureau of Reclamation Security Response Force to provide physical security for the facility.

Security concerns

Because of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Hoover Dam Bypass project was expedited and traffic across the dam was restricted.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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).[9][10] 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.[8]

The Nevada checkpoint is staffed by armed 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.

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ "DOI Law Enforcement Jobs - Police Officer (Series 0083)". Archived from the original on 2012-01-15.
  2. ^ Staff. "Hoover Dam". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Archived from the original on July 16, 2010. 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. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (Includes informative drawing of how the dam works) and Accompanying photos, from 1967 and 1997 (1.57 MB)
  4. ^ Staff (January 30, 2006). "Frequently Asked Questions". Bureau of Reclamation. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
  5. ^ "Dam police department dissolved; park rangers now patrol facility". Boulder City Review. 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  6. ^ Illia, Tony; Cho, Aileen (December 7, 2009). "Buffeted by High Winds and Setbacks, a Bypass Is Making History Near Hoover Dam". Engineering News-Record. 263 (18). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies: 18. ISSN 0891-9526. Archived from the original on December 6, 2009. (The crossing) is scheduled to open in November 2010 "After Sept. 11, 2001, more than 2,000 trucks a day have been diverted away from the dam."
  7. ^ Staff. "Crossing Hoover Dam: A Guide for Motorists" (PDF). Bureau of Reclamation. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  8. ^ a b Coleman, Rich; Hansen, Kyle (October 20, 2010). "Hoover dam bypass bridge opens to traffic". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  9. ^ Lower Colorado Region (February 2011). "Hoover Dam Police Department: About Us". Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  10. ^ Winton Warner, John; Sweatman, Beverly (2001). Federal Jobs in Law Enforcement (2nd ed.). Lawrenceville, NJ: Peterson's. ISBN 978-0-7689-0614-1.