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.  

1974 down the highways


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.


1974: In this week’s entry we look back on a project that issued radios to truck drivers, which allowed them to directly communicate with DPS dispatchers. The below story was featured in the April 1974 issue of The Digest. 


“Project HERCO

On March 15, 1974 the initiation ceremony for Project HERCO, (Highway Emergency Radio Control Operation), was held in Holbrook.

Colonel Robert Sears, Division Chief of E.M.S., presented the First HERCO radio to Yellow Freight Line officials. A 2-day test period started March 19, 1974 at 0800 when HERCO number 1 departed Holbrook for Kingman. The program officially went into effect April 1, 1974.

The objective of the HERCO Project is to reduce the time period between the detection of an accident and notification of authorities.

The HERCO Project involves issuance of portable radios to professional truck drivers traveling U.S. 66 and I-40. The radios have the capability of communicating directly with the D.P.S, dispatcher. ”


Check back every week to see where we make our next stop in history from Down the Highways! Next week’s stop: 1975!





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