Our mission is to inform and educate visitors to the museum of the long history and abounding heritage of the Arizona Highway Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety through static and interactive photographic, audio and written word exhibits.
Three employee groups came together in 2011 to work toward the creation of the museum. The three organizations were the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA), the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police Grand Canyon State Lodge #32 (AZFOP32) and the Coalition of Department of Public Safety Retirees (CDPSR). Two members from each of the three organizations were appointed to represent them on the museum’s Board of Directors. A seventh Board member was appointed by the Director of the Department of Public Safety as liaison to the museum.
Over twenty years ago, DPS Major Deston Coleman put forth the vision to collect and preserve historical and significant artifacts of interest relating to the history of the Arizona Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety. Along with the efforts of Mr. Art Coughanour and Mr. Paul Palmer Jr., the collection which the Arizona Highway Patrol & Department of Public Safety Heritage Museum now possesses began. In November 2013, the Museum was incorporated in the State of Arizona and, on July 15, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service determined the museum was exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 501 (c) (3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to the museum under IRC Section 170. Additionally, the museum was determined to be a public charity under IRC 509 (a) (2).
Our “brick and mortar” facility for displaying the museum artifacts is located within the DPS Headquarters building at 2102 W. Encanto Boulevard, Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to the main location, items are displayed in District offices throughout the state. The Board of Directors and Museum Associates are working diligently toward creating a mobile display that will travel the state to various sanctioned events.
Through fundraising efforts we are marching forward toward our goal of a physical facility and satellite locations our current and past employees, along with the citizens of Arizona, proudly display the history of the Arizona Highway Patrol and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.