1969 marked the beginning of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, which came as a recommendation from the then governor who said to, “assemble state-level law enforcement activities into a single, effective governmental unit.” It consolidated the functions and responsibilities of the Arizona Highway Patrol, the Enforcement Division of the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, and the Narcotics Division of the Arizona Department of Law. With this also came The Digest, the Department’s very own publication featuring stories about the Department and its employees.
Now, in 2019, we celebrate 50 years of the Department and take a look back at notable accomplishments, unfortunate tragedies and feel good stories from the years, or as we like to say, from Down the Highways. Sit back and take the road trip through history with us; once a week we will post a feature story, exactly as it appeared within the respective Digest publication, from the last 50 years, starting in 1969 all the way up to 2019.
1971: In this week’s entry we look back on a day that took two lives from the Department. Officers Beckstead and Keeton performed two separate traffic stops on the same suspect when they were fatally shot on February 5, 1971. The below story was featured on the front page of March 1971 issue of The Digest.
Check back every week to see where we make our next stop in history from Down the Highways! Next week’s stop: 1970!