The public has a right to know how mismanagement within the Arizona State University Police Department affects the quality of public safety for the ASU community. The public pays close to 15 million dollars to fund a university police department that is grossly understaffed and top-heavy. How did this happen? One major contributor is poor departmental morale compounded by an unfair and unethical promotional process. After all, why would a rookie officer want to stay in a department where the only way to receive a pay raise is a promotion, and promotions are not based on merit or experience?
Many employees are frustrated by the promotional process (“Friend-zone appointments”) because it has the appearances of being nothing more than nepotism shrouded by illusions of “fairness” and “merit”. The qualifications of the candidates in the last three “processes” varied considerably. In each “process” there were novices and overqualified candidates; none of the overqualified candidates were selected with the exception of J.Morel as sergeant (he’s a retired cop from a real police department with triple the combined patrol experience of his fellow newly appointed sergeants). The other two ASUPD sergeant appointments–K. Fuchtman and D. Melton–have the LEAST amount of patrol experience of candidates in the sergeant process. Melton spent most of his career riding shotgun with another department (Tempe) on a special unit, barely working in his own department; Fuchtman spent most of her time at the department on FMLA, having babies, and being sick. She was appointed by her own husband to be both a field training officer (FTO), and a bicycle instructor. Prior to this promotional process, Fuchtman had taken a YEAR off. When she was actually on patrol, she had a high number of public complaints, as noted in a recent New Times article.
Not too terribly long ago, ASU tried to crucify former ASUPD Officer S. Ferrin by reversing several complaints against Ferrin that had been close and marked as “unfounded” (the department investigated the claims and determined them to be false). Several other employees who have also been given cushy positions within the department–among them M. Janda, and D. Gauhgan–have been involved in a high number of complaints and also civil suits against the university. According to the New Times, “Ferrin clearly was singled out for doing what other ASU cops have been allowed to get away with for years”. How can a promotional process be viewed as “fair” when the individuals receiving promotions have received the same amount of sustained complaints as those employees (Ferrin) the university tried to terminate?
Here is the comment from “Integrity First”, “A commander from a local police agency with over 20 years of experience, a master’s degree, FBI National Academy and other credentials was denied the opportunity to test for the AC position because he does not have “campus” law enforcement experience even though his experience wraps circles around the acting AC. The fix is in for the AC and other selections it appears.” This comment appeared here: https://network23.org/theintegrityreport/2015/03/12/unofficial-but-honest-current-assessment-of-the-arizona-state-university-police-department-state-of-readiness-03-11-2015/#comments
Ironically enough the man who received the job, Patrick Foster, doesn’t have “campus” law enforcement experience. What he does have is experience at MESA PD like the current chief and assistant chief. What someone at the assistant chief level usually has is a master’s degree. Neither the former acting ASUPD Assistant Chief, Michelle Rourke or current ASUPD Assistant Chief Lou Digirolamo have masters degrees, in fact the only degree listed between them is one Associate’s degree from a community college. As far as we know neither one went to the FBI National Academy. Their qualifications are listed here. https://cfo.asu.edu/police
This outsider who was denied the opportunity to test, besides having a good lawsuit, now understands ASUPD processes have no consistency from one to the next. This guarantees an under-qualified command can manipulate the results. In some processes one person applied and was awarded it without issue, there are others where applicants are told several applicants aren’t enough and they will be holding another process. Other processes have three or more people more than eligible to apply and they pick nobody because they don’t want to “reward” people they don’t like.
Afterwards an appointment is made to someone who has no more experience than those who applied or even less than what was initially required. The lies from command are tailored to each situation and never add up because they can’t keep a straight story. Sounds like the criminals we arrest don’t it? For this reason you will never see ASUPD command in front of a news camera. The incompetence of past performances is memorable.
There are promotion processes where some experience is emphasized (college experience driving in circles responding to petty calls), while other experience is ignored (all non-college police experience at respectable agencies responding to emergency traffic). The real reason is the candidates need to be what Pickens called “owned” meaning they were nothing to other police agencies and ASU police was their only avenue to be in the business as a police officer.
These publicly funded processes are meant to choose the best candidates for the position and are meant to be fair and impartial in their selections. At ASUPD nothing could be further from the truth and that is disturbing.
When it comes to who’s running public safety only the most qualified candidates should be selected. Qualifications are not much of a consideration in this highly political and hostile workplace where groups of employees, up to a half dozen at once, quit around the same time.
Four of the officers featured in the recruiting brochure were out the door by the time it was printed! Coincidence?
ASU POLICE operates business as usual under Chief Thompson the way it did under Pickens. Crow clearly has no interest in getting his police department together. Both chiefs became angry when confronted with the issues and not only do they refuse to acknowledge or address problems, they actively managed to worsen them with inflexible out of touch leadership that rewards the same people who created the problems in the first place
Not only has the ASUPD command selected people for supervisor who have spent little time on the job as a patrol officer, they also selected some people who frequently garnered complaints from the public and were reported for doing so in the media. Worse than this they once again passed over people with 10, 20, 30 years of outside police agency experience for those with some “college experience”; their clique friends. The present day commanders were promoted over their more qualified contemporaries years ago. Opinions are one thing, but the resumes don’t lie.
They open these “processes” to outside applicants, but anyone can get turned away regardless of qualifications. The recent ASUPD Assistant chief selection came from Mesa PD, what college policing experience did he have there? What association does he have with the other top two in ASUPD command since they all came from the same department?
After all that what was the reason given to exclude another applicant from testing? Most of the time no outside applicants get selected or even make it to the final round. The appointment of Mike Thompson to chief is a good example of this. The commander testing was the same way. The university puts no value on public safety competency because they want boot licking lapdogs that cower before the all mighty OZ. Professional police management might tell the university administration they’re doing it wrong, and not having that in place puts the public at risk more than ever as the university approaches the 100,000+ student mark.
The last person to be in command from the outside, who didn’t get appointed from Sergeant, was ASUPD Commander Kevin Williams, now University of Michigan-Dearborn’s chief of police and director of public safety. http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2014/06/23/news/doc53a828952114c794534774.txt
The corrupt existing command immediately circled the wagons against Williams and he couldn’t wait to get out of the Arizona State University Police Department because of the stress command put him through. He was threatened, mocked, and shunned by his fellow command for what end? This sounds more like a bullying story about children on the playground, but it’s true, this is how adult aged men and women manage a police department at the Arizona State University Police Department.
ASUPD command have always been afraid of people more qualified than them, afraid of people they don’t already have under their control, afraid of outside people who think different, and are especially reluctant to tolerate people who adhere to the sort of ethical platform law enforcement as a whole prides itself on. Ask any former employee who is free to speak their mind about the ASUPD management and the responses are relatively the same. A damning response with plenty of supporting information and experience about the complete lack of integrity within the agency management.
This is another ASU public safety corruption story in the works. More light needs to be shed on the culture of corruption, lack of integrity, the non-existent vetting process, cronyism, and anti-American values that appear to be systemic to Arizona State University Police Department and “the New American University” administration who supports it.
In a side note we would like to offer our condolences to the employees at ASUPD who were officially and unofficially accused of being affiliated with the blog or even being the blog administrator. We have received a substantial amount of feedback on the subject, including people who no longer work there, and can tell you to date the number of the accused for this blog is well into the double digits. The investigation and exposure of ASU POLICE mismanagement and their lack of integrity will continue.
The public deserves better, they deserve results.
They don’t deserve lies, sloppy deceptions, institutional corruption,
and the gross mismanagement of their public safety tax dollars.
Every red cent at ASU becomes part of a tax dollar and apparently some people forgot that.
Here’s another reminder.
Here’s ASU Police Chief Michael Thompson in full spin mode and this will be addressed: