Rotarian Dennis Lusk - The Arizona Bill of Rights Project
Bob Halliday – Director, Department of Public Safety

ImageArizona will be the first state to have a Bill of Rights monument. Other states will soon follow and will place their monuments in prominent public locations for all to see.

When the writing of the Constitution was complete, Thomas Jefferson felt the document lacked specific restrictive clauses to ensure the rights of the people. At his insistence an agreement was made to add clauses later. This resulted in the ten amendments that became known as the Bill of Rights


The organizers of the movement to build these state monuments appear to be driven by the desire to not let the passage of time cause the significance of these amendments to fade. It has been 220 years since the ratification of the Bill of Rights amendments – time enough to reinforce its significance throughout the country.

Our Arizona design calls for ten carved limestone monoliths that will be placed inside Wesley Bolin Plaza near the capitol complex in Phoenix. Each monolith will have the text of one of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution sandblasted into the stone.

Dennis entertained us with a trivia quiz. One interesting fact was revealed. There were originally twelve amendments to the Constitution which might have become the Bill of Rights. One amendment dealing the proportion of representatives to the size of the population was never ratified. The other amendment dealing with compensation for the members of congress was finally ratified in 1992 and became the 27th Amendment - 201 years after ratification of the Bill of Rights amendments. 

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Dennis’s guest, Bob Halliday, Director of Arizona’s Department of Public Safety (DPS), took the opportunity to comment on current and upcoming challenges for his department.

Due to budget constraints the department has not hired one new officer since 2008. They are down about 180 officers statewide and response times are suffering – especially in remote rural areas where cutbacks have been the greatest. Officers still make the calls – it just takes a little longer.

The imminent Supreme Court ruling on SB1070 will likely put further stress on the department.  Based on the Court’s ruling the process of verifying the status of a detainee with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may change. DPS is making every effort to be prepared regardless of how the Court rules.