The Rotary Club of Sun City West, with members hailing from Sun City West as well as Sun City, invited representatives of The Arizona Rangers to speak at their Aug. 14 meeting. Lieutenant Terry Rippstein and executive officer Joe McWilliams were introduced by Rotary president Johanna Burton-Fuller to share the history and status of The Arizona Rangers.
The Arizona Rangers are a uniformed, law enforcement auxiliary with a history dating back to the 1800s. They provide law enforcement support to any federal, state and local law enforcement agencies within the state of Arizona, security services for community and civic organizations, as well as support for youth and youth organizations within Arizona.
The modern-day Arizona Rangers were officially recognized by the state of Arizona when Governor Jane Hull signed Legislative Act 41 - State Government, in 2002. The state legislature then passed a statute authorizing the Arizona Rangers to provide armed law enforcement assistance to any local, state, federal or tribal law enforcement agency in Arizona. In addition, the Rangers provide complimentary event security for a variety of nonprofit organizations.
The Arizona Rangers are all volunteers and function as a 501c3 organization. They receive no governmental funding and each Ranger pays for their own training and equipment. Last year, the Arizona Rangers donated about 86,200 hours, saving the Arizona taxpayers millions of dollars. While working certain duties the Arizona Rangers do have full arrest authority. The Arizona Rangers earn and collect donations to fund Christmas gifts for underprivileged children in two Peoria elementary schools.