The Arizona Rangers - A Volunteer Law Enforcement Support Organization
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The Arizona Rangers - A Volunteer Law Enforcement Support Organization

The Arizona Rangers, modeled after the Texas Rangers, was once the preeminent law enforcement agency in Arizona and, from 1901-1909, worked tirelessly as a force to counter the criminal enterprises of the outlaws and bandits who roamed the Arizona desert at the time. Resurrected in the late 1950s, the Arizona Rangers of today is an all volunteer force consisting of concerned Arizona citizens serving as an armed civilian auxiliary to local, state, and federal law enforcement officers within the state of Arizona.

The Arizona Rangers is a law enforcement support agency with a rich history of service to the communities of the old and modern west.  Created in 1901 by the Arizona legislature to deal with the outlaws and bandits who roamed the sparsely populated Arizona Territory at the time, the Arizona Rangers were at first only allowed only 1 captain, 1 sergeant, and a maximum of 12 privates.  However, in 1903, the size of the force nearly doubled to 26.  Despite only existing until 1909, when the force was dispanded by the same legislature which created it, the Arizona Rangers managed to capture dozens of outlaws during their first years in active service.  The force was later resurrected in the 1950s in a ceremonial and law enforcement support role, but 1909 was the last year that members of the Arizona Rangers were considered a law enforcement agency in their own right.

The Arizona Rangers of today are unpaid volunteers with no law enforcement or investigative powers beyond those of every Arizona citizen.  Despite having no legislative law enforcement authority, members of the force wear modern traditional police uniforms, display police style badges and carry firearms and other self defense weapons while on duty.  Because they have no actual authority on which to draw, Arizona Rangers typically assist local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, as requested, to perform basic security, crowd control, and public assistance functions under the supervision and direction of an officer or agent from the requesting agency.  Along with providing support to law enforcement agencies in Arizona, the Arizona Rangers also play an active role in youth support and community service organizations and preserving the history, tradition, and honor of the original Arizona Rangers of 1901-1909 and the wild west as a whole. 

Because they are an all volunteer force, Arizona Rangers pay for all of their duty equipment and uniforms out of their own pockets and receive no financial assistance from the government or taxpayers of Arizona.  Individual rangers do their jobs because they like playing an active role in their communities and helping people feel safe.  By using Arizona Rangers to provide simple security and crowd control functions, the law enforcement agencies that request help from the Arizona Rangers are able to free up valuable man-power to deal with more pressing or complex public safety issues.

The Arizona Rangers are regularly recruiting for new members.  To be considered for enlisment, individuals are required to be at least 21 years of age, free from a criminal history, a resident of Arizona for at least 6 months out of the year, sincerely subscribed to the Rangers' aims and objectives, able to vote in state and federal elections, capable of completing the required probationary period without incident, and capable of being accepted by majority vote to the Ranger company being joined.

Sources:

Who are the Arizona Rangers?  Arizona Rangers Official Website.

History.  Arizona Rangers Official Website.

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