I was pleasantly surprised and pleased to read the March 16 guest commentary by Speaker of the House Andrew Tobin and Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jimmy Chavez (president of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association) regarding HB 2691 “Support HB 2691: Help DPS plan for the future.”
The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the crown jewel of Arizona state agencies. Originally formed during Gov. Jack Williams’ administration in 1969, DPS was transformed from the Arizona Highway Patrol into a full service statewide law enforcement department. DPS consists of hundreds of skilled, dedicated sworn officers, investigators, dispatchers, scientists, technicians, professionals from dozens of disciplines, and an excellent support staff. They work in almost every Arizona community from Yuma to Springerville and Kingman to Douglas, quietly and effectively providing essential public safety services for Arizona’s residents and visitors and for our county and city police departments.
Something that both Speaker Tobin and Sgt. Chavez know is that for years DPS has done its work professionally and competently, more often than not by “taking it out of DPS’ hide.” The public and other agencies DPS assists seldom realize the internal cost to the agency needed to render the service its employees provide without complaint. HB 2691 is a great start that will do much to retain the department’s sworn and civilian work force and to attract quality recruits and applicants to work in the many disciplines that make up this state agency’s dedicated work force. I hope my Ahwatukee neighbors agree and will support a great law enforcement agency and its employees in its mission to enhance public safety in our state.
• Joe Albo, retired from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, has been an Ahwatukee resident since 1994.