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.  

Down the Highways 1972


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.


1972: In this week’s entry we look back on the shots scored by the Department’s award-winning basketball team. The below story was featured in the August 1972 issue of The Digest. 


 “National Police Olympics

Mr. David Creech, coach of the Department of Public Safety’s basket­ball team, and Officer Jerry Dodd presented Col. L. H. Robertson with the state first place trophy. This team and other winners of the State Police Olympics will be going to Tulsa, Oklahoma to participate in the National Police Olympics that will be held in that city, October 20, 1972.”  


AZDPS has since dissolved the sport teams within the Department but has not moved away from participating in the Olympics. For many years, the Department has been a proud partner of Special Olympics Arizona. From runs to barbecues, AZDPS is always proud to support Special Olympics Arizona. 


Check back every week to see where we make our next stop in history from Down the Highways! Next week’s stop: 1973!


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