Arizona Department of Public Safety is a law enforcement agency with its usual focus being protection of all Arizona highways. The department is under control of the former Sheriff of Pinal County Roger Vanderpool.


Pursuant to legislation in 1968, the Arizona Department of Public Safety was established by the executive order of Arizona Governor Jack Williams on July 1, 1969. This mandate consolidated the functions and responsibilities of the Arizona Highway Patrol, the Law Enforcement Division of the state Department of Liquor Licenses and Control and the Narcotics Division of the state Department of Law.

In its 30-plus years of sustained progress and service, the Department has accepted many additional responsibilities and has become a multi-faceted organization dedicated to protecting and providing state-level law enforcement services to the public while developing and maintaining close partnerships with other agencies sharing similar missions.

The Department consists of four divisions - Highway Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Agency Support and Criminal Justice Support. Together these four divisions provide an immense and extensive range of vital scientific, technical, operational and regulatory services to Arizona residents and to the state's criminal justice community;one of the more famous subdivisions of the Criminal Justice Support Division is the Gang Intervention, Immigration and Team Enforcement Mission task force (better known as "GIITEM"), which was formed to combat the growing gang infestation problems mainly in Maricopa County (the Phoenix area), even though their jurisdiction is (like the AZ/HP) statewide.

The vehicle of choice for the Arizona DPS/HP is the Ford Crown Victoria with the Police Interceptor package, and the Chevy Tahoe police package SUV. Their department issue weapons are, for handguns, 40 Caliber Sig Sauer P226 (or the alternative issue Sig Sauer P229), for long guns, the Patrol rifle 223 caliber Colt AR15A2 Colt M16A2 or Colt M4 with 15 30 round magazines and the 12 gauge Remington 870 shotguns.


  • Male: 92%
  • Female: 8%
  • White: 82%
  • Hispanic: 14%
  • Native American:2%
  • African-American/Black: 1%
  • Asian: 1%


Arizona Highway Patrol

The Arizona Highway Patrol is divided intdo 12 districts:

Aviation Bureau

The Aviation Section consists of four Air Rescue helicopter units, a fixed-wing Air Support unit, an Aircraft Maintenance unit, and administrative staff.

Commercial Vehicle Enforcement

The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau is responsible for the enforcement of all rules and regulations pertaining to the safe operation of commercial vehicles on the roads and highways of Arizona. The primary emphasis is on vehicle safety, driver safety, and proper authority and compliance for vehicles operating in commerce.

DUI Enforcement Unit

The DUI Enforcement Unit identifies and investigates drug and alcohol impaired drivers, and provides support to Highway Patrol, local and county agencies through training and logistical support.

Vehicular Crimes Unit

The Vehicular Crimes and Reconstruction Unit provides investigative expertise and expert court testimony when a vehicle is the instrumentality in a homicide .

Criminal Investigation Division (CID)

The Criminal Investigations Division provides statewide investigative, specialized enforcement and high risk response support to federal, state and local criminal justice agencies. The CID conducts investigations regarding narcotic trafficking, organized crime, intelligence, vehicle theft, gangs, computer and financial crimes, as well as major crime investigations when requested by other criminal justice agencies. It also maintains and operates a state-of-the-art geographic information system (GIS) mapping center for the Department of Public Safety and makes data available to other agencies in Arizona.

The CID is also responsible for the protection of the Governor and provides specialized High Risk Response to acts of extraordinary violence and domestic preparedness incidents.

There are five bureaus within the Criminal Investigations Division:

  • Narcotics/Organized Crime
  • Investigation
  • Intelligence
  • Gang Enforcement (GITEM)
  • Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN).

Agency Support

The Agency Support Division provides critical assistance to the Arizona Department of Public Safety through logistical and administrative services such as crime victim services, basic and continuing training, management services promoting efficiency of government, pro-active media relations, contemporary research and planning, legal services, investigation of employee misconduct, internal and external management audits, coordination of financial and human resource services, cost-effective facilities management and innovative logistical support.

Criminal Justice Support (CJSD)

The Criminal Justice Support Division is responsible for developing and coordinating scientific, technical, regulatory and support services by providing scientific analysis and criminal justice support to Arizona’s criminal justice agencies. CJSD also develops, operates, and maintains the data processing and data/voice communications systems statewide.

Fallen Officers

Since the establishment of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, 26 officers have died in the line of duty. [2]

Rank Structure

Title Insignia
Deputy Director
Chief of Staff
Sergeant II
Sergeant I

Contact Information

2102 W. Encanto Blvd.
AZ 85009-2847
Phone: 602-223-2000

See also


External links

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics, 2000: Data for Individual State and Local Agencies with 100 or More Officers
  • The Officer Down Memorial Page
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