ELOY — Allen Rogers wears a lot of hats.
On top of his role as an Arizona Ranger, Rogers serves as both the superintendent and a resource officer for the Picacho Elementary School District as well.
During the Arizona City Chamber of Commerce luncheon July 21 at the Tumbleweed Inn in Eloy, Rogers spoke about what motivated him to serve his community in more ways than one.
“About four or five years ago, I was sitting on my campus, looking at the news and wondering why there were so many school shootings around the country,” Rogers told chamber members. “(Picacho) is about 20 minutes from a first responder in any direction, so I thought that maybe I could become a first responder.”
This call to action led Rogers to getting in contact with the Arizona Rangers. The Rangers first became a fixture of Arizona law enforcement in the early 1900s. The namesake organization provides law enforcement assistance to federal, state and local agencies, with 22 companies around the state.
Rogers saw this as an opportunity to both continue to do his duties as a superintendent, but also to go above and beyond to make sure that his students are safe at all times during school hours.
“Our main goal as Rangers is to serve the public; we are here for safety concerns. We are here to help people and we enjoy doing it,” Rogers said. “I think most parents are very thankful that if someone shows up and tries to harm our kids, we will have something more than just a stapler to throw at them.”
The Arizona Ranger sees his role as a way to educate kids that law enforcement officials can be people they can look at to help them, not hurt them.
“I think the biggest thing we do is to try and let kids know that they can run to us, instead of away from us,” Rogers said. “We are not here to hurt them, we are here to help them. So I think it is good for them to see someone in law enforcement that they know, and see that we are real people who are approachable. We want what is best for them.”
One of the big things the Arizona Rangers emphasize is their connection with local and state law enforcement agencies. Rogers described the communication with those agencies as a perfect partnership, with mutual respect and admiration.
“The relationship with the sheriffs and officers has been amazing, (Pinal) Sheriff (Mark) Lamb has been nothing but supportive, in fact he came to my school when I was sworn in as a resource officer,” Rogers said. “Chief (Chris) Vasquez at Eloy PD has been great, every single police department or county sheriff’s department has been nothing but supportive, and they appreciate our help.”
While there are only around 500 Arizona Rangers, they can be seen as a helping hand in the communities that make up Arizona. For Rogers specifically, he takes on the role of not just keeping other citizens safe, but making sure that students and parents have nothing to worry about if a threat is ever suspected at his school.