We welcomed the Arizona Rangers Show Low Company April 3rd at the Community Center’s scheduled Tuesday Talks. Tuesday Talks are the first Tuesday of every month at the Heber-Overgaard Community Center.
It was very impressive to be in the company of three Arizona Rangers dressed in full uniform with black cowboy hats. Sargent Mark Devlin, Sargent Christine Doyle and Sargent and Captain Steve Buck were our speakers today. The Arizona Rangers are the auxiliary to Arizona law enforcement. They are unpaid volunteers and spend from their own personal finances to become members. They wear uniforms and are equipped the same as any current law enforcement agency. The Arizona Rangers were officially recognized by the state legislature in 2002 when they were included in the Arizona Revised Statutes (state law) under Title 41, chapter 40. Article 41-4201 reads, in part; “The Arizona Rangers are an unpaid, non-commissioned civilian axillary that is available for the purposes of assistance to and support for law enforcement in this state.”
- To assist law enforcement agencies within the state in performing their duties.
- To assist local civic organizations with community events.
- To maintain and honor the traditions of the original Arizona Rangers.
Sargent Mark Devlin; retired Colonel, U.S. Army addresses this unique law enforcement group as “a hidden treasure within Arizona”.
The Arizona Territorial Rangers were first formed in 1860 when Arizona was still a territory and then the Civil War started. They were modeled after the Texas Rangers and were organized to police the new gold boom towns and training camps. In 1901 they became known as the Arizona Rangers created by the Arizona Territorial Legislature. There were so many outlaws during this time and Arizona Territory was sparsely populated. There was cattle wrestling and many cattle disappeared over the Mexican border and without a border patrol there was no recourse. Arizona was not yet a state and the border patrol was not organized until 1924, so they disbanded in 1909.
During that short period in time the Arizona Rangers arrested over 5,000 criminals! They were reorganized in 1957 by a few surviving Arizona Rangers as a non-profit civic organization. They originally organized for the sole purpose in keeping the “Wild West” image alive. They created re-enactment and participated in parades. Over time they were called up to assist in more important ways and remain as we know them today as a Statewide law enforcement auxiliary.
Sargent Christine Doyle is in charge of training with the Show Low Company. She says if you are interested in applying to be an Arizona Ranger the age group is 21 and up. Christine tells us the oldest Ranger in her Company is 72 years of age and very active with the Company. She tells us they carry semi-automatic handguns and AR-15s are always close by if needed. She talked about the four Mounted Units in Verde Valley and how amazing and well trained these horses must be.
Not only do the Arizona Rangers assist criminal situations they are civic minded and provide armed assistance to our rural communities with parades, car shows, art festivals, gun shows, school activities and other civic events when there are not enough local police available.
They also contribute their time and money to charitable events such as: Shop with a Cop, White Mountain Clothe A Child, Children’s Miracle Network, Secret Santa, Elks Scholarships, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Young Marines, The Civil Air Patrol, a Leadership Camp for Apache high school students and others. This is a tremendous dedication of men and women volunteering and always being on call for our communities’ protection; and the generosity they extend in the many community organizations and help with our children.
The Arizona Rangers members total 350 members with 19 companies stationed throughout the State of Arizona.
The Show Low Company has assisted in many major crime situations, wild fire evacuations and many disasters statewide. They are always there for us contributing many man hours; whatever it takes to help and keep us safe.
Thank you for a most interesting hour of Arizona history and bringing us current with all that you do for us. It is of great comfort to know you are always there to back up our brothers in Blue.
If you are interested in further information you can contact The Arizona Rangers State Website at www.azrangers.us or Face book; (Arizona Rangers Show Low Company) and Major David E. Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org).