ARIZONA RANGERS : Buscan reactivarse tras años hivernar

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Nogales, AZ.- Donning silver five-point-star badges etched with their names, the Arizona Rangers once patrolled the Wild West, tracking down bands of outlaws on horseback through the vast Arizona desert. Though they are no longer Arizona’s official police entity, the rangers still serve communities across the state, assisting local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, providing private security and supporting local children’s groups, said Ernesto Machado, a nine-year ranger with the Santa Cruz Company, which covers Nogales and Santa Cruz County. 

 The company, which at one time had dozens of members, has dwindled in recent years to just five volunteers, with two others currently in training. Last year, the nearby Sonoita Company, which started as an outgrowth of the Santa Cruz Company and served as its own post for more than 20 years, disbanded due to a lack of membership. But the Santa Cruz Rangers have no plans to dissolve, Machado said, and are instead working to recruit new members to wear a badge in service to their community. “It’s a rewarding job,” he said. “Your main purpose is to assist law enforcement when you’re needed. And then the second point is to help children’s nonprofit organizations. You have to have that drive. You’re going to be working for your community.”

 Established as an official law enforcement agency in 1901, the Arizona Rangers served until 1909 when they were disbanded by the Arizona legislature. In 1957, the group was reestablished, reviving the traditions of the Old West by working to support modern law enforcement and providing security at private events to earn money that is donated to youth charities. Today, there are 17 companies across the state with about 300 members, according to the Arizona Rangers’ official website. They all serve on a volunteer basis. “When they apply, some people get discouraged because they don’t realize that this is a non-paid, non-commission job,” Machado said. “That means that you have to pay for everything, your badge, sidearms, your uniforms. 

Everything. And it’s a big commitment.”

 Candidates for the Arizona Rangers also undergo an extensive interview process which includes a national background check, training and obtaining a concealed carry permit. Then they enter probationary service for about three months, after which other members of the company vote them in or out, Machado said.


Rangers
The Santa Cruz Company of the Arizona Rangers has posted this flyer around town in hopes of attracting new members.

 While in some areas, such as Bisbee, Ariz. Rangers are still the first line of response, he said, in Santa Cruz County, where law enforcement agencies from every level of government are present, they often provide paid security that allows them to support more nonprofits. “We do help law enforcement a little when the Nogales Police Department or the sheriff will contact us to say they need help, but we do a lot of private events, and we donate a lot of money,” he said. 

“Most of the women and men that join the rangers, the motivation is just to serve the community, to pay back to the community. That’s what you’re doing, you’re doing a service to the community.”........................ 

 http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/dwindling-rangers-seek-to-boost-numbers/article_1cb91d6c-6d6d-11e7-b866-07ded04c8825.html React
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