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Facing Arizona: Being an Arizona Ranger is a great responsibility

(Thomas Yoxall / Sure Shot Photography)

Editor’s note: Facing Arizona is a series that will appear on KTAR.com and social media  — follow KTAR News 92.3 on Instagram and Facebook for updates — highlighting unique and everyday people across our state and give you a glimpse into their lives.

I am Jeff Smith, I am 54 years old, and I am an Arizona Ranger.

The Arizona Rangers are the most former law enforcement group in the state of Arizona. They were first commissioned in the 1860s but later disbanded when the Civil War ensued. They were reassembled in 1901 to bring law and order to the territory of Arizona before statehood. Eight years later, their services were no longer required, having cleared the area of the criminal element and doing their part to pave the way for Arizona to become a state.

In the 1950s, the Arizona Rangers reformed at the governor’s behest. This time they were gathered as a non-commissioned, auxiliary, law enforcement group that was charged with assisting all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Our scope of responsibilities is quite broad and we go wherever we are needed. We have assisted with additional security for civic events, sporting events, escorting the fallen to their final resting place. The Rangers also provide assistance during forest fires and have been called upon to aid the Border Patrol.

As you can see, there are multiple endeavors that the Arizona Rangers are not a part of. We are sworn peacekeepers, and as such, we carry a great responsibility in serving our state and the people who reside here.

The Arizona Rangers are strictly a voluntary organization. I am proud to be a member of such a spectacular group of men and women, serving our various communities and law enforcement agencies. — Jeff

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