I was recently briefed by DPS leadership and confirmed with ADOT that DPS officers will be back to work in construction/work zones starting October 1. As many of you know, this has been a priority for AHPA for several years. ADOT Director John Halikowski has been receptive to the idea since his appointment.
Now the two agencies are putting the finishing touches on the agreement to have DPS officers working in the work zones across the state. This is certainly good news for not only our officers, but for the motoring public. ADOT agrees that having DPS officer in the work zones is the right thing to do.
Several years ago, the IGA between ADOT and DPS lapsed, essentially putting an end to our officers in work zones across the state. At that time, both agencies were under different administrations. Since then, AHPA has been working to get our officers back into the work
zones. Director Halliday has also made this a priority. Our persistence has finally paid off. With this new agreement in place, passing legislation to codify the agreement for the long term should be relatively easy. That will still be one of our goals in this upcoming legislative session.
As stated previously by DPS leadership, the goal has been to have our officers working those areas in an “on duty” capacity, similar to the current wide load escort procedures. This allows our officers to be covered for injury under worker’s compensation. With the agreement in principal, the jobs will be on duty to afford full protection.