Arizona DPS head says he’s ‘surprised’ he was not given speeding ticket

Dec 6, 2019, 10:21 AM | Updated: 12:47 pm

PHOENIX — Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col. Frank Milstead says he was surprised he didn’t get a ticket in October when he was pulled over for going 90 mph on Interstate 17.

“I will be candid with you — I thought that I was getting a ticket. I was actually surprised when (the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputy) showed up back at the car without a ticket,” Milstead told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James & Pamela Hughes Show on Friday.

He said he was issued a warning for going 15 mph above the posted limit of 75, which is considered criminal speeding, as he passed slower traffic.

“But it doesn’t matter. I broke the law,” he said. “(The deputy) stopped me, and he was very professional, great deputy. It just one of those days that it was my time to get stopped.”

Milstead said warnings aren’t a rare occurrence.

“Yavapai County … their numbers are quite significant on the warning,” he said. “In the last two years, they’ve issued 17,559 warnings and 2,700 speed tickets, so it’s 70% are warnings.”

On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office released body camera footage of the Oct. 12 stop on I-17 near Camp Verde.

“The reason I stopped you is guys are going about over 90 mph, weaving through traffic, not using you guys’ turn signals,” the deputy said after approaching Milstead’s SUV on the passenger side.

As Milstead dug out his registration and insurance at the deputy’s request. He also offered up his DPS identification card, revealing himself as the department’s director, which he told Bruce & Pamela is protocol.

“So from the time you start the academy, you are told that if you are ever stopped by a law enforcement officer, identify yourself as law enforcement, let them know who you are because you could be armed,” he said.

“It puts people at ease. They also know that you’re not a threat to them.”

When asked if he thought he received preferential treatment, he said, “That may well be. I have no reason to know one way or another. I haven’t spoken to the deputy since.”

Milstead also addressed his 2011 car crash in which his Porsche convertible rolled two times.

A 12 News report following the incident said the dispatch log was missing 40 pages, the official report did not include photographs and there was no record of any eyewitness accounts.

“In 2011, I got ran off (state Route) 87 going up to my cabin, was in a rollover collision, basically walked away from what should have been a fatal accident,” he said.

“The conspiracy theorists out there are now deciding, is there something weird about that. … There’s just crackpots out there that think that something is nefarious.”

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Arizona DPS head says he’s ‘surprised’ he was not given speeding ticket