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.  

1975 down the highways graphic


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.


1975: In this week’s entry we look back on the initial purchase of radar sets, which enabled DPS to perform speed enforcement. The below story was from May 1975.


“1975: Purchase of 150 radar sets in May heralds establishment of the statewide radar speed enforcement program.”


“Special highway enforcement program begins [1975]. Officers concentrate on high accident areas. Supervisor and a team of three or four officers go into a target area checking for fatigued and intoxicated drivers, excessive speed, and faulty equipment.” 


1975 speed enforcement












Check back every week to see where we make our next stop in history from Down the Highways! Next week’s stop: 1976!



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