Arizona State Police

Encyclopedia Article


Arizona State Police is a colloquial reference to the enforcement personnel of the Arizona Department of Public Safety (APDS). APDS began as the Arizona Rangers in 1901 while the state was still a territory and one of the final outposts for true lawlessness with its proximity to Mexico and the harsh and rugged terrain that made eluding law enforcement a viable possibility. The Rangers were replaced by the Arizona Highway Patrol in 1931, with one patrolman per each of the state's 14 districts assigned to cover the rise in the number of vehicles traveling across the state. In 1967, APDS was established as the comprehensive law enforcement agency, responsible for enforcing traffic, narcotics, gang, liquor, and other regulatory areas.

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"Arizona Department of Safety patch," photograph by Dave Conner, is licensed under CC BY.

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