In 1968, the Arizona Legislature passed a law to create the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS). The agency became operational by the executive order of Gov. Jack Williams on July 1, 1969. Governor Williams’ mandate consolidated the functions and responsibilities of the Arizona Highway Patrol, the Enforcement Division of the State Department of Liquor Licenses and Control and the Narcotics Division of the State Department of Law into one agency.
Since its inception, the department has added many additional responsibilities and has evolved into a renowned, multi-faceted organization dedicated to providing state-level law enforcement services to the public while developing and maintaining close partnerships with other local, county, state, federal and tribal agencies.
For much of its history, the sworn members of the department were known as officers or patrolmen. In early 2015, a change in title was initiated at the agency that resulted in its sworn personnel becoming known as State Troopers. The change in title served to better align the department with other highway patrol agencies across the country.
The department is headquartered in Phoenix, but also operates out of local offices spread throughout the state’s 15 counties. With nearly 2,000 full-time employees, the agency strives tirelessly to fulfill its support and operational objectives including traffic safety and criminal investigation.